Jimmy’s blog: UT’s Kirkland might not return

 

By Jimmy Hyams

Tennessee senior linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr., might have played his last snap in a Vol uniform.

Kirkland, a freshman All-American in 2015 when he had 66 tackles, has chronic knee problems and has undergone multiple surgeries.

Kirkland is undergoing treatment in Pensacola, Fla., with well-known surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.

Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt said the treatments have been done on “several guys playing in the NFL and it extended their careers. Right now, he (Kirkland) is doing that.’’

Kirkland is not participating in UT’s spring drills.

Pruitt said Wednesday on Sports Radio WMNL that he and Kirkland have “talked about … the possibility of not even playing next fall and getting ready for the draft.’’

Pruitt said Kirkland has his degree and has been a “great ambassador’’ for UT.

“When you talk about quad strength and hamstring strength,’’ Pruitt said, “if it is not as strong as it is on the other leg, then you tend to have nagging injuries. That is something that has happened to him in the past.

“I think that Darrin is a really good football player. He has a bright future. He does have to get his leg well and I’m not sure that seven or eight months of rehab will not do him best.’’


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