KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Less than 48 hours after saying he wouldn’t comment on injuries, Tennessee coach Butch Jones left the door open for senior linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin to return from a possible season-ending shoulder injury.
After getting hurt on a special teams tackle against Ohio, Reeves-Maybin has missed the majority of Tennessee’s last three games, playing a few snaps against Florida.
On Saturday, a report surfaced saying the linebacker’s career at Tennessee was over. Jones rebuked that story Monday, saying, “He’s still looking at some different options at what avenues he wants to pursue. And he has all the time that he possibly needs to make that decision. I think he’s earned that right.”
Jones admonished the story, adding, “There needs to be no more tweets, no more discussion.”
Reeves-Maybin, the Volunteers leading tackler the last two season, headlines a Tennessee injury report longer than a James Joyce novel.
As many as nine starters were injured before, during or after the loss at Texas A&M on Saturday.
Jones did say defensive tackle Danny O’Brien was thankfully “day-to-day” after the senior left the field on a stretcher and was taken to the hospital for a head injury.
Otherwise, Jones provided no updates on any of the Vols walking wounded.
“I’m not going to comment on any injuries,” he said.
“I’ll know a little bit more as the week progresses because it’s all premature. I haven’t even seen our kids yet. We’ll start the week off today. We’ll know a little bit more as the week progresses. I don’t want to sit up here and tell you that somebody is not injured and then all of a sudden they show up and there’s something that happened in the game that we didn’t know about.
“Again, we’re banged up. We’re battered. We’re bruised. But that’s football. That’s playing the in Southeastern Conference. We’re not in any other conference. Our players understand that. They’ve done a great job.”
Tennessee hosts No. 1 Alabama on Saturday (3:30 p.m., CBS).
Tennessee’s injury report
* Cornerback Cam Sutton (broken ankle) – OUT
* Defensive tackle Danny O’Brien (head/neck) – OUT
* Defensive tackle Kendal Vickers (undisclosed) – TBD
* Linebacker Cortez McDowell (undisclosed) – TBD
* Center Dylan Wiesman (head/neck) – TBD
* Guard Jashon Robertson (undisclosed) – TBD
* Tailback Jalen Hurd (undisclosed) – TBD
* Linebacker Darrin Kirkland (high-ankle sprain) – TBD
Also, defensive backs Malik Foreman, Emmanuel Mosley, Evan Berry Jr. and Micah Abernathy all were injured during the Texas A&M game but were able to return to the field.