Kamara, Sutton put team first, return from injury in Vols win

Alvin Kamara and Cam Sutton played key roles in Tennessee's victory over Kentucky after working hard to get healthy.

For the first time in two months, Tennessee had three of its four captains fully suited up for the coin toss on Saturday.

Alvin Kamara and Cam Sutton returned from injury to join Josh Dobbs and the still injured Jalen Reeves-Maybin.

Kamara rushed for 128 yards and two scores and Sutton broke up two passes and made three tackles to help the Vols beat Kentucky, 49-36.

According to one mock draft, Kamara and Sutton are projected to be second round picks in the NFL Draft this spring.

WalterFootball.com predicts both with be selected in the top 45 picks.

Last year's 45th overall pick, Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, received a $2.1 million signing bonus and signed a contract worth $5.4 million.

When Kamara and Sutton got injured earlier this season, both could have thought about nothing but those dollar signs. They could've played it safe, taken their time rehabbing their injuries and making sure their bodies were ready for the NFL Combine to maximize their earning potential.

But they didn't.

"We've got unfinished business," Kamara said after game. "We've got business to handle. The season isn't over. I made it my goal to come back if I could, so here I am."

The Atlanta-area native injured his knee in Tennessee's loss to Alabama. He sat out games against South Carolina and Tennessee Tech while working to get healthy.

"I think that's a great story," head coach Butch Jones said. "They're selfless individuals who put the team first and really wanted to play. They were determined and they willed themselves to getting back healthy. I thought that really sparked our football team."

Sutton broke a bone in his foot/ankle against Ohio in September. Eight weeks later (and a week ahead of schedule), he returned to the field at Neyland Stadium.

"We live in a SportsCenter society. When we all go home tonight, we're going to turn SportsCenter on and all we see are the highlights," Jones said.

"What we don't see is him in the training room at 7 a.m. or him in the training room eight, nine, ten times a day to get himself in order to play. To me, I love those two individuals, and like Alvin said, he goes, 'Coach, it was like a long time coming.' I give them a lot of credit."


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