Less than a week ago, word broke that Butch Jones and the Tennessee Volunteers would be without middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. for the season opener against Georgia Tech. While that loss comes as a result of an injury, the Vols will now be without yet another starter for Saturday’s contest and, this time, the absence is not actually related to injury or ailment.
VolQuest.com brings word from Jones that Tennessee will be playing without starting left tackle Drew Richmond as a result of a violation.
“Drew Richmond will not make the trip to Atlanta.”
“He will be suspended for a violation of team rules If he does everything he needs to do he will be back against Indiana State.”
It seems as if Richmond’s absence will be only for one game but the timing is not ideal given that Georgia Tech is a legitimate threat to knock off the Vols, especially when playing just down the road from their campus. In the sophomore’s stead, Tennessee is likely to deploy senior lineman Brett Kendrick at left tackle and it remains to be seen what kind of drop-off ensues as a result of the absence.
More than anything, though, it isn’t a great look for Jones and his staff to be dealing with something like this during game week and his team’s response on the field will be intriguing.