Fans already knew senior safety Todd Kelly Jr. was injured. But now their worst fears about that injury have come to fruition.
According to a report from 247Sports, Todd Kelly Jr. will undergo season-ending surgery on his knee this week. Kelly didn’t travel with the team when they traveled down to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators, and he’s sat out the two games after that as well.
Because Kelly’s injury occurred so early in the season, he is eligible for a medical redshirt. Now the senior just has to decide if he wants to return in 2018 for a fifth year with the Vols or take his chances and head into the NFL.
In two games this season, Kelly has totaled seven tackles, earning three off the bench in the Vols’ season opener against Georgia Tech and four against Indiana State. Kelly came into his senior season as a projected starter at safety, but junior Micah Abernathy and sophomore Nigel Warrior beat him out at the safety position and started instead.
It’s believed that Kelly has been struggling with a knee injury for weeks, and he decided to have surgery after getting the knee examined during the week after the Florida game.
In his career, Kelly has made 16 starts and played in 40 games. He’s totaled 157 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, 14 passes defended, eight interceptions, and a forced fumble. Kelly has also drawn attention for his acts off the football field in the Knoxville community.