KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s injury situation has officially reached its critical mass.
With more than a dozen players already sidelined with various aliments, star tailback Alvin Kamara is the latest Volunteer to hit the shelf.
The junior is “banged up,” per coach Butch Jones, who refused to address a report that Kamara tore his meniscus and sprained his LCL at the end of Tennessee’s 49-10 loss to No. 1 Alabama on Saturday.
On Monday, 247Sports reporter John Brice reported that Kamara would miss at least “2-4 weeks” with the knee injury.
“Everything is wait-and-see,” Jones said.
“Is (Kamara) banged up? Obviously, everything is banged up. But I just got off the phone with him and some of that was news to him. Again, we have to respect our football program. We have a lot of guys who are injured and banged up. It’s been a long, long season. … Let it take it’s course. Let’s not be too premature to judge or get it out there.”
Kamara scored Tennessee’s lone touchdown Saturday, totaling just 28 yards on 10 touches.
Two weeks ago, the electric tailback became the first Power 5 player in 20 years to record over 150 yards receiving and 125 yards rushing in the same game, racking up more than 300 yards and 3 touchdowns in the double-overtime loss at Texas A&M.
Tennessee entered the season with four permeant senior captains, and Kamara becomes the third captain to get hurt this fall, joining cornerback Cam Sutton (ankle) and Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder).
Jones would not address the litany of other injuries, saying, “Respect our players and our program. These are young adults that have families and there’s too much out there. Some inaccurate. Some accurate. But I’m asking (the media) that you start respecting out players. I’ve spent an hour on the phone this morning, dealing with families of players of inaccurate information of things that are out there. These are kids. I’m here to protect our program and our players. That’s what it’s all about.”