KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee will be without two more linebackers against Alabama.
Darrin Kirkland Jr. and Cortez McDowell will not play, SEC Country has learned. Kirkland will now miss his fifth consecutive game, while McDowell left the Texas A&M game after a blow the head.
The No. 9 Volunteers host top-ranked Alabama at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.
Despite optimism earlier in the week, Kirkland watched warmups in sweats while the rest of his teammates were in uniform.
Kirkland, an All-SEC standout as a freshman, was injured in the win over Virginia Tech in the “Battle at Bristol.”
He practiced Tuesday, but still had his ankle heavily-taped.
Coach Butch Jones has called Kirkland “questionable” the last two weeks.
With Kirkland, as well as senior Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder) out, the Volunteers will once again turn to junior Colton Jumper.
The former walk-on leads the team in tackles with 24, including back-to-back weeks with double-digit stops.