Tennessee DC Bob Shoop says LBs Darrin Kirkland Jr., Colton Jumper could play at the same time
Darrin Kirkland Jr.’s return from an ankle injury doesn’t mean backup Colton Jumper is losing playing time.
According to 247Sports, Tennessee defensive coordinator Bob Shoop said Wednesday that both linebackers will “probably” be on the field at the same time when the No. 18 Volunteers face South Carolina 7:15 p.m. ET Saturday.
Coach Butch Jones reportedly suggested Kirkland could move to the Will linebacker spot, freeing up the Mike position Jumper has occupied for the last five games. The junior stepped into the Mike slot when Kirkland went down with an injury against Virginia Tech on Sept. 10.
“I think we’ll find a way to put our best 11 players on the field for what the situation calls for,” Shoop said. “And right now we think Colton and DK are probably two of our best players, so I think you’ll probably see them on the field at the same time.”
Kirkland racked up 16 tackles and a sack before getting injured. Jumper recorded 42 tackles (second-most on the team), 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble in place of the sophomore.