KNOXVILLE - Tennessee Volunteers running back Jalen Hurd is transferring and defensive lineman Shy Tuttle is out for the year with an injury, according to coach Butch Jones.
WNML’s Jimmy Hyams first reported the news of Hurd’s decision.
“Jalen has informed me that he intends to transfer,” Jones said at his Monday afternoon news conference. “I support him on that. I’m very, very thankful for everything he’s done for our program, but it’s all about our football program and our football team and moving forward from this point forward.”
Jones said he met with Hurd on Monday morning, and said the two have a “great relationship.”
“I value our relationship, and have a lot of respect for that young man and wish him nothing but the best,” Jones said of Hurd.
Related: Vols RB Hurd to transfer
Tuttle injured his right knee in the second half of Saturday’s 24-21 loss to South Carolina.
“I feel for that young man,” Jones said of Tuttle. “He works so hard to get himself back into playing condition, and works so hard and diligently in the training room.”
Tuttle battled back from a foot and ankle injury that cut short his freshman year.
Jones said Tuttle will go through rehab throughout the course of spring practice.
Tennessee (5-3, 2-3 SEC) is on a three-game losing streak following Saturday’s 24-21 loss to South Carolina.
“When you lose a few games, everyone wants to point fingers and think that the sky is falling, and something is on fire and all that,” Jones said. “I do think our football team is close, but I think there has to be a separation between friendship and leadership.”
Jones said he thinks his team’s chemistry can improve following the loss to South Carolina.
Saturday’s loss knocked the Vols out of the AP Top 25 and the Amway Coaches polls.
Jones addressed defensive end Jonathan Kongbo’s tweet of a picture with a pair of cleats hanging up with the message, “All things must come to an end.”
“That’s why we don’t push the panic button,” Jones said. “He lost in a FIFA (video) game, and those were soccer cleats that he tweeted out,” Jones said.
All things must come to an end pic.twitter.com/Zd9YuNLNnD— Jonathan Kongbo (@Kongbo_1) October 30, 2016
Jones said running back Alvin Kamara will not return to action Saturday's Homecoming game against Tennessee Tech, according to Jones.
Kamara missed the South Carolina game with a knee injury. Jones said Kamara might play against Kentucky on Nov. 12.
Jones said running back John Kelly will see a "greater role" in Tennessee's offense. Kelly had 14 carries and 94 yards against South Carolina.
Kelly is the Vols' presumed starter with Hurd's departure.
Tennessee hosts Tennessee Tech at Neyland Stadium at 4 p.m. ET Saturday. The game airs on the SEC Network Alternate channel.
Saturday marks Tennessee’s 100th Homecoming, and the football team's 93rd Homecoming game.
(© 2017 WBIR)