Tennessee football: Vols lose another offensive tackle to season-ending surgery
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s offensive line opened fall drills as the deepest unit on the team, but that depth is suddenly being challenged due to a series of injuries.
Freshman offensive tackle K’Rojhn Calbert is the latest to go down.
Calbert will have season-ending surgery on the same left knee that was operated on his freshman and sophomore seasons at Warren Country High School in McMinnville, Tenn., a source told SEC Country late Wednesday night.
The source added that the injury was to Calbert’s ACL, but was not the result of a contact drill.
Calbert’s loss comes one week after it was determined that junior right tackle Chance Hall would have season-ending surgery to repair his recurring knee injury.
Sophomore Marcus Tatum, another offensive tackle, has been sidelined by a foot injury, and true freshman guard Trey Smith is out with an undisclosed injury.
Fifth-year senior Brett Kendrick — another offensive tackle — just returned from an injury that had sidelined him for a few days in fall drills.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones said Wednesday he might have to cancel a scheduled scrimmage because of the offensive line injuries.
Jones said he’s aware his team needs the work, particularly the Vols’ rebuilt defensive line.
But Tennessee’s opener against Georgia Tech on Sept. 4 in Atlanta is fast approaching, and the fifth-year head coach wants to make sure his team is as healthy as possible for what promises to be a physical battle in the trenches.
Jones also has no interest in putting his quarterbacks or running backs at risk with a subpar line in front of them in a scrimmage situation, and he wouldn’t want to put projected offensive line starters at increased risk with too many snaps in a scrimmage.
Tennessee was forced to juggle seven different offensive line combinations last season on account of injuries, forcing former quarterback Josh Dobbs to run for his life most of September and October.
Calbert, one of the strongest players on the team, was a candidate to play this season after Hall was ruled out.