No need to worry Tennessee fans, the Volunteers have not lost Darrin Kirkland Jr. or Tim Jordan.
Anytime players unexpectedly miss spring practice, especially following a coaching change, it’s reasonable to question the status of those players moving forward. Case in point, defensive lineman Quay Picou’s departure from the program was not announced until the first day of spring practice on Rocky Top.
Vol Nation doesn’t have to worry about that happening with linebacker Kirkland or running back Jordan, both of whom have not been spotted during the first week of spring practice in Knoxville, according to Jeremy Pruitt. During his recent media availability, Tennessee’s coach explained Kirkland’s mysterious absence — the linebacker is still recovering from surgery.
“Darrin had his knee cleaned up, so he will be back probably in two to three weeks,” Pruitt said. “He had done really well, progressed and worked in the offseason. It was just a minor cleanup there, so he’ll be back and ready to go. He might even finish up and get to go the last couple practices of spring.”
Kirkland missed the entire 2017 season after sustaining a serious injury in fall camp. During his first two seasons on the field for Tennessee, Kirkland has arguably been the team’s best linebacker. He’s made 21 appearances and 16 starts during that time while battling thru multiple injuries. He was also honored as a member of the 2015 All-SEC Freshman Team.
As for Jordan, he also had a medical issue keeping him away from the field, albeit a non-football related one.
“Tim had to have his appendix taken out over spring break, so I think he’ll be back in a couple of weeks and maybe he’ll get the last six or seven days of spring ball,” Pruitt revealed.
Jordan appeared in 12 games for Tennessee, mostly on special teams, as a true freshman in 2017.