Tennessee will be without running back Alvin Kamara when the Vols travel to Columbia to face South Carolina this weekend, head coach Butch Jones confirmed on Monday afternoon.
Kamara sustained a reported knee injury against No. 1 Alabama, but Jones said he will not require surgery for his injury.
That should be considered a win for Tennessee after some feared that he could be out for an extended period of time. Jones said they will need freshman running back Carlin Fils-Aime to step up in Kamara’s absence, as he will be asked to help split the load that will be primarily carried by Jalen Hurd, with some help from John Kelly.
Jones had some other positive news on the injury front. He said cornerback Cam Sutton, who fractured his ankle earlier in the season, could return in a matter of a few weeks – though he didn’t put an exact timetable on that.
Linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. is expected to play at South Carolina. Jones also said that all the banged-up offensive linemen (Brett Kendrick, Jashon Robertson, Dylan Wiesman and Chance Hall) should be ready to go against the Gamecocks as well. Cornerback Malik Foreman will return to the practice field on Monday after missing the Alabama game.
Defensive tackle Alexis Johnson didn’t practice much over the bye week, per Jones. Safety Micah Abernathy and linebacker Cortez McDowell are among the other players who have been injury that Jones didn’t have a specific update for, though he has indicated that he expects to have virtually everybody back who has been banged up.
TV schedule: Tennessee will play Tennessee Tech for Homecoming on Nov. 5 at 4 pm ET in a game that will be televised by the SEC Network (alternate channel).
Vegas update: Tennessee opened as a 14-point road favorite at South Carolina, according to VegasInsider.com. That line is down to 13 as of Monday afternoon.