In some very interesting timing, Tennessee dismissed senior defensive tackle Danny O’Brien on Monday, just two days after he was stretchered off the field at Texas A&M.
“Defensive lineman Danny O’Brien has been dismissed from the Tennessee football team for violation of team rules,” a statement from the school said. “This news is unrelated to the injury he suffered against Texas A&M. However, should he require any additional care, it will be provided by the University of Tennessee.”
O’Brien suffered a helmet-to-helmet hit in the fourth quarter of the Volunteers’ 45-38 double-overtime loss to the Aggies on Saturday. After a lengthy delay in action, he was strapped to a board and taken to the hospital. He was moving his extremities on the field as he was carted off and later flew back to Knoxville with the team.
O’Brien had 14 tackles on the season and is the latest starter for the Vols to be taken out of the lineup this season due to injury or suspension. Sophomore Kahlil McKenzie is expected to take his place at defensive tackle.
While Tennessee specifically said the action of dismissing O’Brien had nothing to do with his injury, citing the very vague ‘violation of team rules’ in their short statement will cause speculation to run rampant until head coach Butch Jones can address the matter.