KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin has left the door open to return for the 2017 season after undergoing season-ending surgery on his shoulder last week.
“I still have that option, I think,” said Reeves-Maybin, who would most likely be approved for a medical redshirt if he chooses to apply, having last appeared in the fourth game of the season against Florida. “I haven’t thought 100 percent what my plan is.”
Reeves-Maybin said he has sought out several medical opinions where his injury shoulder is concerned, including that of noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
“I did have to, hear some different opinions from different people and get different perspectives, as to what they saw my injury as,” said Reeves-Maybin, who was sidelined after suffering the injury against Ohio on Sept. 17.
“I tried to play, I got hurt int he Ohio game, and I got hurt in the Florida game. I spent like six hours a day in treatment (leading up to the Sept. 24 game with the Gators).”
Reeves-Maybin played less than 10 snaps in the 38-28 win over Florida, appearing on the first defensive series of the first and second halves.
Coach Butch Jones told the media Reeves-Maybin was still considering options as late as last week. Reeves-Maybin elaborated more on that on Tuesday.
“There were a couple surgery options I could have, but I had to make my decision,” Reeves-Maybin said. “I felt the condition I was in, I wouldn’t be able to help the team.”
Reeves-Maybin said he was in an airplane during the Alabama game against Tennessee, and he described having to follow the game on Twitter as “awkward.”
Moving forward, he plans to have a presence.
“I still think I’m a leader on this team and a captain, (and) I think I still have a lot of respect from all my teammates, and I still feel like I have a job to do,” Reeves-Maybin said. “I definitely plan on being at all the games, it killed me not being there Saturday.”
Reeves-Maybin said if he has played his last snap for Tennessee, he hopes to be remembered as “somebody who took care of business on and off the field and helped get Tennessee back to where it is.”