Tennessee LB Darrin Kirkland Jr. (knee) out for season

Tennessee LB Darrin Kirkland Jr. (knee) out for season”

Tennessee hasn't even taken its first snap of 2017, but linebacker Darrin Kirkland expected to miss the entire season with a knee injury sustained in preseason camp.

"We had a very positive outlook that it could be three to four to five weeks, but unfortunately that's not the news that came about."

Coach Butch Jones had already announced that Kirkland would miss Monday night's opener against Georgia Tech after suffering a non-contact injury to his knee last Friday in practice. "But just like anything in life, he'll be better for it".

Last season as a sophomore, Kirkland played in eight games and played a big role on defense.

More news: Preseason game canceled in wake of Houston flooding

Tennessee kicks off its 2017 campaign on Monday, Sept. 4 against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. "We'll have to make the most of our walk-through on Sunday when we get there, and I know our players are looking forward to it".

"That's football", Jones said.

"I believe he started 9-10 games for us and he'll be ready to go", said Jones. Dillon Bates and freshman Will Ignont in the MIKE position.

"A lot of these individuals gained valuable reputations previous year, Colton being one of those at the mike and we'll move on from there", said Jones. Again, a lot of these individuals gained valuable repetitions a year ago, Colton being one of those.

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