Tennessee senior defensive tackle Danny O’Brien has been dismissed from the program, the Vols confirmed via a statement on Monday afternoon.
O’Brien was carted off the field at Texas A&M on Saturday, and was classified as “day to day” by Butch Jones on Monday. The statement from UT clarified that his dismissal in no way was related to the injury situation.
“Defensive lineman Danny O’Brien has been dismissed from the Tennessee football team for violation of team rules,” the statement said. “This news is unrelated to the injury he suffered against Texas A&M. However, should he require any additional care, it will be provided by the University of Tennessee.”
O’Brien has been one of UT’s most consistent defensive linemen this season with 14 tackles and a number of other disruptive plays. The 6-foot-2, 301-pound native of Flint, Mich., originally signed in Derek Dooley’s final class (2012) and appeared in 42 games in his career.
I take full responsibility. I'm grateful for my teammates, coaches, and Vol nation. It has been and honor to help bring this program back.
— Danny O'Brien (@dandiesel13) October 11, 2016
O’Brien’s absence leaves Kendal Vickers, Kahlil McKenzie and Shy Tuttle as the proven options in the defensive tackle rotation. Alexis Johnson, Quay Picou and hybrid defensive lineman Jonathan Kongbo are among the other options for the rotation.