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Tennessee’s Danny O’Brien taken off on stretcher

October 1, 2016: Tennessee Volunteers defensive lineman Danny O'Brien (95) reatcs in the Tennessee Volunteers 34-31 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)
Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire

Tennessee Volunteers senior defensive lineman Danny O’Brien was carted off the field during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against the Texas A&M Aggies. The injury appeared to occur following O’Brien shedding two blockers, and immediately being hit on the side of the helmet by the Texas A&M running back. O’Brien fell to the ground and would have to be stretchered off the field, receiving cheers from fans of both teams.

According to the school, O’Brien was moving all four extremities was taken to a local hospital for precautionary reasons.

A fifth-year senior, O’Brien has started five games for Tennessee this year at defensive tackle. He made 12 starts as a sophomore in 2014, before making only one, but playing in 11 games last season as a junior. Entering the Volunteers’ fifth game of the season, O’Brien had made eight tackles on the year, two of which came for a loss.

A 6’2, 301-pound product of Flint, Michigan, O’Brien played at Flint Powers Catholic HS before committing to Tennessee in their 2012 recruiting class. Ranked as a four-star prospect, he chose the Volunteers over local offers from Michigan and Michigan State, as well as perennial National Title programs such as Alabama and Oregon.

O’Brien is backed up at defensive tackle by sophomore Kahlil McKenzie, who will take over for the remainder of the game on Saturday.

The Volunteers opened the season 5-0, including a stirring win over the Georgia Bulldogs on a Hail Mary touchdown that won the game as time expired. Following their game against the Aggies on Saturday, they’ll return home to prepare for a collision with the No. 1 team in the nation, the Alabama Crimson Tide.

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