BRISTOL, Tenn. – Tennessee’s 45-24 win over Virginia Tech in the Battle at Bristol Saturday evening did come at the cost of at least a pair of injuries.
Several Vols were shaken up during the game including Jonathan Kongbo, Kahlil McKenzie, Darrin Kirkland Jr. and LaTroy Lewis. Kirkland and Lewis were unable to return to the game. Butch Jones provided a quick update on those two following the game.
“In terms of the injuries, it’s too early to tell right now, they’re preliminaries, they’re ankle sprains,” Jones said when asked about Lewis and Kirkland in particular. “I’ll know a little bit more when we get back to Knoxville.”
That’s potentially good news on both fronts, but especially for Kirkland, who was unable to put much weight on his leg as he hobbled off the field with trainers in the second half and was replaced by Colton Jumper. Kirkland was later carted to the locker room.
David Chao, a former NFL team doctor who regularly commentates on injuries via social media, wasn’t as optimistic about Kirkland’s outlook, though his take is obviously speculative since he didn’t examine him in person:
By video, appears to have right ankle fracture. Likely surgery and done for season. Too bad. https://t.co/QFaEFZAi7I
— David J. Chao – ProFootballDoc (@ProFootballDoc) September 11, 2016
Darrell Taylor, Dimarya Mixon, Kongbo and Kyle Phillips (who has been battling an injury as well) were among the defensive ends who helped replace Lewis in the rotation throughout the rest of the evening.
Tight end Jason Croom and defensive tackle Shy Tuttle both made their debuts after sitting the opener against Appalachian State.