KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The many sagas surrounding the Jalen Hurd story haven’t ended yet, and on Wednesday, Tennessee coach Butch Jones was asked to clarify a report that surfaced the night before.
Hurd’s stepfather, Arthur Smotherman, posted a Facebook Live video denouncing rumors that the former Volunteers tailback — who abruptly left the program Monday — was benched against Georgia after a goal line fumble.
Smotherman said Hurd sustained a concussion in the third quarter.
“It didn’t happen on the end zone play, it happened in the beginning of the third quarter when he fell on his head,” Smotherman said.
“He didn’t think he was hurt. He went back in the game. He realized that he was hurting more than he thought. So they didn’t put him back in the game the rest of the game as part of concussion protocol.”
Except Tennessee did.
After sitting out much of the second half, Hurd re-entered the game for the final kickoff before the ‘Hail Mary Between the Hedges.’
On Wednesday, Jones was asked if Smotherman was telling the truth — and why then Hurd was allowed to keep his helmet and play later in the game.
“All I can tell you is we have a concussion protocol in place here administered by our trainers and our team doctors,” Jones said.
“We are not involved as coaches with that process. We have strict guidelines that are in place that they administer.”
The next week, Hurd missed the Texas A&M with an undisclosed injury. He returned to action against Alabama and South Carolina before transferring Monday.