KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s Alvin Kamara will not play Saturday at South Carolina because of an unspecified knee injury, but coach Butch Jones said the Vols all-purpose yardage leader will not need surgery.
“Very encouraged with the progression of Alvin, he won’t be available this week, but everything that’s come back right now, we anticipate him being back in a couple of weeks,” Jones said at his Monday press conference. “As of right now he does not need surgery, and we’re anticipating him being back in the next week or two.”
Tennessee plays at South Carolina at 7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Kamara has 313 yards rushing this season and 260 yards receiving, along with 184 yards on 18 punt returns and 16 yards on one kick return.
Jones said he expects all of Tennessee’s starting offensive linemen to return from the injuries that sidelined them against Alabama, and he said middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. will play against the Gamecocks.
Kirkland has been out since suffering a high ankle sprain in the second game of the season against Virginia Tech on Sept. 10.
By the end of the Vols’ 49-10 loss to Alabama, only one offensive line starter remained on the field, center Coleman Thomas.
Offensive guard Jashon Robertson and center-guard Dylan Wiesman didn’t start against the Crimson Tide because of injuries sustained the week before in the 45-38 double overtime loss at Texas A&M.
Offensive tackles Chance Hall and Brett Kendrick were knocked out of the football game against Alabama with lower-body injuries.
Offensive guard Jack Jones suffered torn thumb ligaments in the loss to the Tide and underwent surgery during the bye week.
Cornerback Malik Foreman also will return from the undisclosed injury that sidelined him for the Alabama game, Jones said.
Jones also said that senior cornerback Cam Sutton, who has been out since September with a fractured ankle, will return to the team in November.
“Everything I’m being told, he’ll only be out a couple more weeks,” Jones said of Sutton.
The Vols have lost more than their fair share of players for the season to injuries and attrition, including:
LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder)
DT Danny O’Brien (dismissed)
LB Quart’e Sapp (knee)
WR Preston Williams (transfer)
DE Austin Smith (shoulder)