What Is Going On With Jalen Hurd?

Photo Credit: Bill Shipley/Shipley Photo

It’s been a weird week for Tennessee junior running back Jalen Hurd. During the first half on Saturday versus Georgia, he caught a beautiful pass but had a massive mental breakdown and attempted to trot into the end zone but was side-swiped by a Georgia defender and fumbled the ball at the goal line. He sat out a good portion of the game following that gaff but later came in and scored a touchdown.

After the game, Butch Jones said Hurd had a “lower extremity injury” and that’s why he sat for much of the contest, although, many believed it was simply a punishment for the giant mistake he made.

On Monday, Coach Jones said during his press conference that Hurd was “full go” and would practice this week and made no indication that there was any problem with his star tailback. Then, on Wednesday Jones changed his tune again and said there actually was a lower extremity injury and that Hurd was “day to day.”

Finally, on Thursday, Coach Jones made an appearance on 3HL, an afternoon radio show in Nashville, and stated that Hurd will be “a game time decision.”

But, the story didn’t end there.

247 Sports released a report after Jones’ radio interview claiming that sources indicated to them that Hurd will likely not play in College Station, not because of a lower extremity problem, but because of an “upper body injury.”

Additionally, on Friday morning, Jimmy Hyams of WNML radio stated on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville that he believes that Hurd has a concussion and that he won’t even be traveling with the team to Texas.

Past the numerous media reports, fans have speculated that this is a head game Coach Jones is playing to throw off Texas A&M. While others have posited that it might be Jones attempting to motivate Hurd and get him more focused on the task at hand. And, as has been evidenced above, the most rational voices are saying that it’s simply an injury, the severity of which wasn’t discovered until the latter part of the week.

Whatever it is, it’s weird. And whatever it is, the fact remains that Tennessee needs Jalen Hurd and will be hurting mightily if he can’t play against the Aggies.

So, your guess is as good as ours as to what’s truly going on here. It’s quite clear now that we won’t actually know whether or not Hurd will be ready to play until 3:30 on Saturday afternoon.