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Injuries to monitor ahead of Mississippi State

A couple of situations to monitor.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

There were a couple of key players missing from the Tennessee defense against Georgia. Some were able to push through, but one starter wasn’t able to play at all. Tennessee lost another starter during the game.

Ahead of a winnable matchup with Mississippi State, Jeremy Pruitt updated those injuries on Monday.

Warren Burrell

Tennessee’s freshman cornerback sustained an ankle injury during last week’s practice session on Wednesday. After doing everything possible to play, Burrell wasn’t able to go against Georgia, prompting Kenneth George to get the start.

“(Burrell) wanted to play and really came a long ways in a two or three day period,” Pruitt said on Monday. “He actually didn’t practice on Thursday or Friday, and we almost thought he could play Saturday afternoon after watching him warm up, but it was still a little swollen. But I think he’ll be ready this week.”

Alontae Taylor

Taylor was able to go against Georgia, but may not have been playing at 100 percent. That could be the reason Kenneth George got the start over him on Saturday night. Pruitt said Taylor is dealing with a hip flexor issue, which has been bothering him for a couple of weeks.

Aubrey Solomon

Solomon played in the first half against Georgia, but exited the game before halftime with an injury. It was a big blow to the Tennessee defense, which was dealing with one of the top rushing attacks in the nation with Georgia.

Pruitt noted that Solomon has been playing through a knee and a shoulder injury.

“He’s pushed through most of the year,” Pruitt said of Solomon. “He’ll continue to do that. We’ll monitor him and see how he is. We won’t put him out there unless he’s ready to play.”

Riley Locklear

Locklear, one of Tennessee’s numerous contributors up front, exited the game after getting “his bell rung,” as Pruitt put it. Tennessee is being careful with Locklear, though Pruitt wouldn’t call it a concussion.

“Riley, he got banged up a little bit,” Pruitt said. “I don’t want to say it’s a concussion, but he got his bell rung and we’re taking precautionary measures there.”

Other notes

  • Pruitt noted that Tim Jordan was back to full strength after getting hurt against Georgia State. Jordan ended up playing more than freshman Eric Gray against Georgia.
  • Roman Harrison didn’t play against Georgia, which Pruitt seemed to indicate had nothing to do with an injury.
  • Pruitt noted that Daniel Bituli’s knee may be limiting him a bit. Bituli had his knee cleaned up just a week before the season began. Pruitt indicated that Tennessee wanted to use him more as a pass rusher on passing downs, but they haven’t been able to because of the “wear and tear” on his knee.