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Tennessee received more bad news on Sunday regarding a position that really couldn’t afford much more.

Starting strongside linebacker Austin Smith has reportedly suffered a knee injury and will likely miss Monday’s season opener against Georgia Tech, according to SEC Country‘s Mike Griffith.

The news comes days after the team announced that starting middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. would need season-ending knee surgery.

Head coach Butch Jones has not been scheduled to meet with the media since Smith’s injury occurred during a “thud” (non-tackling) period on Friday.

The Vols have been plagued by injuries dating back to last season, which included an FBS-leading 52 starts missed due to injuries, which included eight different starting linebacking corps throughout the year.

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