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Tennessee dismissed the same lineman who was carted off against Texas A&M

Danny O’Brien’s dismissal isn’t related to his injury, the team says.

On Saturday, Tennessee defensive lineman Danny O’Brien left the Vols’ game against Texas A&M on a cart. On Monday, Tennessee dismissed him from the team for an unrelated "violation of team rules," the program announced.

The Vols’ statement:

"Defensive lineman Danny O'Brien has been dismissed from the Tennessee football team for violation of team rules," the release stated. "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."

Early in the fourth quarter of the A&M game, O’Brien went down hard after a helmet-to-helmet tackle, and an otherwise boisterous Kyle Field fell silent. This was the scene as O'Brien was about to depart on a cart.

Texas A&M field

O'Brien, after the game, said he expects to be just fine.

Everything about his injury aside, O’Brien’s dismissal is a tumultuous turn. It’s not good news for Tennessee’s defense, either.

The redshirt senior has started each of the Vols’ first six games at defensive tackle, and they can use all the interior line help they can get. They still have to navigate the remainder of an SEC schedule that includes Alabama on Saturday, and now they’re a little bit thinner at a critical position.

Sophomore Kahlil McKenzie has been listed behind O’Brien on Tennessee’s two-deep.