KNOXVILLE - Tennessee Volunteers senior linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin will not play Saturday afternoon at unbeaten Texas A&M, according to coach Butch Jones.
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.
“We continue to try to gather information for him, and further evaluation to see what’s in his best interests (in the) short-term (and) long-term,” Jones said Wednesday of Reeves-Maybin’s injury.
Reeves-Maybin led the Vols in tackles the past two seasons.
Jones said Wednesday junior running back Jalen Hurd and sophomore linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. are both day-to-day with injuries.
Hurd did not play in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 34-31 comeback victory at Georgia due to a lower body extremity.
In Saturday’s win against Georgia, Hurd had a season-low 10 carries for 42 rushing yards. However, Hurd did have three receptions for 50 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Kirkland practiced Tuesday, and hasn’t played in a game since the Battle at Bristol on Sept. 10 due to a high ankle sprain.
Jones said he’d know more about Kirkland’s status for the Texas A&M game by Friday.
Junior cornerback Justin Martin will travel with the team to Texas A&M, according to Jones. Martin served one-game suspension against Georgia for violating team rules.
Junior offensive lineman Coleman Thomas is also available to play for Saturday’s game, according to Jones.
Jones called junior defensive lineman Derek Barnett, the SEC's defensive player of the week following his performance against Georgia, a "relentless competitor" on Wednesday.
"He invests a lot of time in his performance on the field and off the field," Jones said. "His leadership, I think, is one of the most untold stories or unsung things about this football team."
Jones called Barnett a "self-made person," and compared Barnett to NFL Pro Bowl players Antonio Brown and Travis Kelce. Jones coached Brown at Central Michigan from 2007-2009, and Kelce at Cincinnati from 2008-2012.
"They work their craft every day and it's important to them," Jones said of the three players.
Editor's Note for clarification: Kelce redshirted in 2008. He played in 11 games in 2009, and did not play in 2010 due to a violation of team rules. Kelce returned to action in 2011 and 2012 at Cincinnati.
The Vols enter Saturday's game on an 11-game winning streak dating back to last season.
No. 9 Tennessee (5-0, 2-0 SEC) plays at No. 8 Texas A&M's Kyle Field (5-0, 3-0 SEC) 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.
ESPN's College GameDay will also broadcast its pregame show at Spence Park righ outside Kyle Field in College Station, Texas, from 9 a.m. to noon Eastern Time Saturday.
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