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Tennessee’s Darrell Taylor returning from suspension for Kentucky game

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In desperate need of some positive personnel news, Tennessee is on the receiving end of just that.

In a statement, beleaguered UT head coach Butch Jones announced that Darrell Taylor has been reinstated and will be available for tonight’s game against Kentucky.  The defensive tackle was initially suspended after being involved in a physical altercation with a teammate that reportedly involved Taylor kicking Trey Smith in the face.  The incident resulted in Smith needing stitches.

The suspension cost the redshirt sophomore games against South Carolina and Alabama.

“Darrell has completed the requirements we had set for him to return to play and he will be available tonight against Kentucky,” Jones said in the statement. “He must continue to meet criteria we have set forth for him on a daily and weekly basis.”

Taylor had started the first five games this season prior to the suspension.

It was announced earlier this week that John Kelly would be suspended for the game against the Wildcats after being cited for marijuana.  Kelly currently leads the Vols in both rushing and receiving.

Additionally, it was reported late this week that Quinten Dormady is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.  Dormady began the season as UT’s starting quarterback.

With Dormady out, redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano, the new starter, and true freshman Will McBride are the only scholarship quarterbacks on the roster at the moment.

Tennessee suspends DT Darrell Taylor following reported practice altercation leaves teammate needing stitches

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Fights between teammates during a college football practice are known to happen across the country, but sometimes the physical aggressiveness goes a little too far. That appears to be the case in Knoxville as Tennessee has suspended defensive tackle Darrell Taylor following a reported incident at a recent practice during the bye week. Taylor reportedly got involved in an altercation with teammate Trey Smith.

Multiple reports have said Taylor — who was already serving a suspension last week for fighting in the previous game —  kicked Smith in the face, leaving the star freshman to need stitches.

Tennessee head coach Butch Jones said “multiple factors” led to the indefinite suspension but the Vols coach was reluctant to go into the details. Instead, Jones offered a glowing review of Tennessee’s bye week and spoke about getting players “leadership reps” in a way only Jones could.

It’s just a guess to say that Taylor is going to have to get in a good amount of leadership reps before he is reinstated by Jones and the Vols.