Darrin Kirkland Jr., LaTroy Lewis out with ankle injuries against Ohio

Tennessee's starting middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. will miss at least the Ohio game with a high ankle sprain. Govols247.com's Wes Rucker explains the significance of his absence and the Vols' options at that spot.

KNOXVILLE - Sophomore linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. and redshirt senior defensive lineman LaTroy Lewis will miss Saturday's game against Ohio due to ankle injuries, according to Tennessee football coach Butch Jones.

Both Kirkland and Lewis are starters for Tennessee.

Jones added that Lewis “would probably be out a couple of weeks.”

Lewis was seen wearing a boot on his right foot, and carrying crutches after the 45-24 win against Virginia Tech in the Battle at Bristol.

“It’s time for guys to step up and do what they need to do,” senior defensive lineman Corey Vereen said Monday. “It shouldn’t be a drop off of any sorts when other guys get in.”

Jones said sophomore offensive tackle Chance Hall is still at least two weeks away from returning from his knee injury.

On Monday, Jones said he estimated up to 75,000 people attended the Vol Walk at the Battle at Bristol.

Jones said he was appreciative of the behind the scenes efforts for Tennessee (2-0) to play on a national stage, but he was focused on Saturday's game against Ohio.

"For the first time this year we played complementary football in all three phases," Jones said of Tennessee's 31 unanswered points against Virginia Tech.

Jones said he thought his team made progress from Week 1 to Week 2, but was "disappointed" with his team's start when Virginia Tech opened the game 14-0.

Ohio (1-1) is coming off of a 37-21 win against Kansas, in which the Bobcats controlled the time of possession for 44 minutes and 22 seconds.

The Bobcats average 45.5 points per game through two games this season. Ohio has been bowl eligible in nine of its past 10 seasons.

Jones went 2-0 against Ohio while he was a head coach at Central Michigan from 2007-2009.

Saturday's game between the Vols and the Bobcats is scheduled to kick off at noon ET, and the SEC Network will broadcast the game.

Refresh this story for the latest updates.

(© 2016 WBIR)


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