KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — With Tennessee’s offensive line struggling in the first half against Alabama, the No. 9 Volunteers inserted freshman offensive tackle Marcus Tatum, burning the rookie’s redshirt.
Right tackle Chance Hall was abused for a pair of sacks on Tennessee’s first two drives, but it was unclear if the sophomore was benched or removed from the game due to injury. The Volunteers already were decimated by injuries, missing a number of starters, including star linebacker Darrin Kirkland.
Tennessee trails Alabama 21-7 in the second quarter.
The Volunteers already had lost starting left tackle Brett Kendrick to injury on Saturday, as the junior went down with a leg injury on Tennessee’s opening drive. Redshirt freshman Drew Richmond, who started UT’s first two games before being benched, replaced Kendrick at left tackle.
The Volunteers hoped to redshirt Tatum, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound product from Ormond Beach, Fla., but the undersized tackle did impress coaches in training camp with a willingness to compete.