KNOXVILLE - Tennessee Volunteers football coach Butch Jones said junior running back Jalen Hurd will fully participate in practice Monday, and is expected to play Saturday afternoon against Texas A&M.
Jones said Hurd is a “full go” for Monday's practice.
Hurd did not play in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 34-31 comeback victory against Georgia.
GoVols247 reported Hurd left Saturday’s game with a “lower extremity” injury. Hurd had a season-low 10 carries for 42 rushing yards, but managed three receptions for 50 receiving yards and a touchdown Saturday.
Jones said Monday he’d know later in the week on the injury status of sophomore linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. and senior linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin.
"(Kirkland) did do some running Thursday and Friday," Jones said. "(Monday) we're going to do some different cutting drills to see if he can match the movements that the linebacker position brings about with different bursts and accelerations."
Kirkland hasn’t played since the Battle at Bristol due to a high ankle sprain.
Reeves-Maybin missed the Georgia game with a shoulder injury, and recorded two tackles in the first half against Florida on Sept. 24 before exiting the game due to the injury.
Jones said junior cornerback Justin Martin is expected to return from a one-game suspension for violating team rules.
The SEC named redshirt freshman long snapper Riley Lovingood the conference's co-special teams player of the week for snapping a punt, and downing the ball on Georgia's 6-yard line late in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game.
Two plays later Tennessee (5-0, 2-0 SEC) took the lead 28-24 after junior defensive end Derek Barnett and junior linebacker Cortez McDowell forced a strip-sack fumble, which Corey Vereen fell on for a touchdown.
The SEC named Barnett the conference's defensive player of the week after he recorded five tackles, two sacks, 2.5 TFLs and the forced fumble.
"You don't win that football game if you don't have great character in your football program, and you don't have a football culture in place," Jones said of Tennessee's 34-31 comeback win against Georgia.
Tennessee managed to rally from a double-digit deficit for the fourth time in five games.
ESPN Stats and Info tweeted the Vols had a 0.23 percent chance of winning after the extra point of Georgia's 47-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Eason to Riley Ridley. The play put Georgia up 31-28 with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but an excessive celebration penalty forced the Bulldogs to kick from their own 20.
Tennessee kick returner Evan Berry returned it for 20 yards to set up Joshua Dobbs' game-winning 43-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings.
Tennessee's chance to win fell to 0.23 percent after Georgia's extra point with 10 seconds left. pic.twitter.com/NotZYM3DhB— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 2, 2016
Tennessee has played Texas A&M senior quarterback Trevor Knight before on Sept. 14, 2014, when the Vols lost to the Oklahoma Sooners 34-10.
Knight transferred to Texas A&M after he attended Oklahoma from 2013-2015.
In the 2014 win, Knight passed for 308 yards and a touchdown, and ran for another score.
Knight did not play in last season's double-overtime thriller at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee lost to Oklahoma by a final score of 31-24.
"(It is) probably the greatest challenge we have to date," Jones said of Saturday's game against the Aggies.
Jones compared Texas A&M's Kyle Field to Neyland Stadium, and said the Aggies have a tremendous home-field advantage.
The Aggies have won four consecutive games at Kyle Field dating back to last season.
Graph: SEC stadium capacities
Kyle Field is the largest stadium in the SEC with a capacity of 102,733 fans. Neyland Stadium is the second largest with a capacity of 102,455 fans.
No. 9 Tennessee plays at No. 8 Texas A&M's Kyle Field at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday. CBS will broadcast the game.
The Vols 2-0 in the all-time series against the Aggies. Tennessee beat Texas A&M 3-0 in the 1957 Gator Bowl and 38-7 in the 2005 Cotton Bowl.
(© 2016 WBIR)