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Report: Tennessee could lose last year’s leading tackler Todd Kelly Jr. for season

Tennessee safety Todd Kelly Jr.

The Tennessee Volunteers could be going the rest of the way without safety Todd Kelly Jr., who reportedly won’t play Saturday against Florida due to a potentially season-ending knee injury.

“Kelly Jr. had an MRI taken on his left knee on Thursday and received results on Friday that revealed a knee condition that will sideline him,” wrote Mike Griffith of SEC Country.

Griffith reports the knee injury was originally sustained last year. The senior safety played through it all of last season, however, using a brace to gut through it. Even dealing with that injury, Kelly Jr. led the Vols with 71 tackles and hauled in two interceptions.

The coaching staff and Kelly Jr. were unaware of the severity of his injury, Griffith reports, which is why he played through it. He even lost 10 pounds this offseason to attempt regaining some speed, thinking that weight was the issue, rather than his knee.

If Tennessee does lose Kelly Jr. for the season, then he’d be the third starting-caliber player to go down with an injury.¬†Middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. is out for the season after knee surgery, and Austin Smith is currently out with a knee injury of his own, suffered in August.