Tennessee was without a number of defensive backs in its win over then-No. 3 Alabama.
The defensive backs are out for different amounts and different reasons. Corner Warren Burrell is out for the season. Corner Kamal Hadden was active and didn’t play in the win but should be back before too long. Christian Charles and De’Shawn Rucker exited the game with injuries in the final minutes.
Safety Jaylen McCollough could be back in the lineup sooner rather than later.
McCollough didn’t play after the Knoxville Police Department arrested him and charged him with aggravated assault after the senior punched a male after the man drunkenly and mistakenly entered his apartment.The punch took place outside the apartment.
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel addressed McCollough’s status Monday, specifying that the senior is not suspended but was simply unavailable against the Crimson Tide.
“He’s not suspended,” Heupel said of McCollough. “He’s been around. Just wasn’t available for Saturday. Process still going on with him. We’ll see how that continues to play out here. Look forward to having him available here soon.”
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McCollough’s a defensive captain and has totaled 23 tackles through five games this season. With the Georgia native sidelined, Wesley Walker and specifically Doneiko Slaughter saw increased action.
Slaughter totaled eight tackles and Walker tallied three tackles and a pass break up in the shootout win.
Heupel didn’t specify any timeline for McCollough’s return as the legal process is ongoing. The Vols have an easy matchup against UT-Martin this week before crucial SEC east battles against Kentucky and Georgia.
Kick off between the Vols and Skyhawks is at noon ET Saturday. The SEC Network is broadcasting the game.