Vols Starters Darrin Kirkland, Jr and Drew Richmond Missing Season Opener

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee will be missing its projected starting left tackle and its top returning linebacker Monday when the 25th-ranked Volunteers open the season against Georgia Tech.

Volunteers coach Butch Jones announced Wednesday that offensive tackle Drew Richmond will be suspended for the Georgia Tech game due to a violation of team rules and that linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. will miss the start of the season with a knee injury.

Jones said Richmond would return for Tennessee’s Sept. 9 game with Indiana State “if he does everything he needs to do.” Jones said Kirkland hurt his meniscus. There’s no timetable yet for Kirkland’s potential return.

Richmond’s absence means that Brett Kendrick and Marcus Tatum will be Tennessee’s starting tackles against Georgia Tech. Colton Jumper fills Kirkland’s spot at Mike linebacker.

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