FOOTBALL

Reports: Florida's Preseason All-American cornerback Kaiir Elam out for Vols game

Graham Hall
Special to The Sun
Florida Gators cornerback Kaiir Elam (5) breaks up a pass during the football game between the Florida Gators and The Alabama Crimson Tide, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. Sept. 18, 2021.   n]

Florida junior defensive back Kaiir Elam was ruled out for UF’s 7 p.m. contest with Tennessee due to a knee injury the starting cornerback suffered in the Gators’ 31-29 loss to Alabama last week.

Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel was the first to report Elam would be unavailable for Saturday’s game. 

The 6-foot-2 cornerback from Riviera Beach recorded two tackles and three pass break-ups against the Crimson Tide, arguably Elam’s most impressive performance to date in his UF career. 

Elam also recorded UF’s first interception of the season in Florida’s 42-20 win at South Florida. In his absence, the Gators are expected to rely on a rotation of Avery Helm, Jason Marshall and Ethan Pouncey. Graduate transfer defensive back Elijah Blades was once again unavailable with a hamstring injury. 

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Freshman Jason Marshall Jr. was announced as the starter in Elam’s place for Florida’s first defensive series. 

Florida's defensive secondary has been bitten by the injury bug this season: Cornerback Jaydon Hill (knee, out for season), safety Kamar Wilcoxson (knee, out for season) and cornerback Elijah Blades (hamstring, questionable tonight).

This is a developing story.

Vols' injury report

Tennessee, meanwhile, will be relatively healthy against Florida, with only one player out due to injury.

Offensive lineman Kingston Harris is out against the Gators. He left last week's Tennessee Tech game with an unspecified injury.

Quarterback Joe Milton is available to play. He hasn’t played since suffering a leg injury against Pittsburgh on Sept. 11, but he participated in pregame warm-ups.

Center Cooper Mays, offensive lineman Cade Mays, running back Jabari Small, defensive lineman Da'Jon Terry and linebackers Bryson Eason and linebacker Juwan Mitchell are also available to play after returning from injuries.

Cooper Mays has not played since suffering an ankle injury in the season opener against Bowling Green. Small left the Pitt game in the first half with an unspecified injury.

Cade Mays left the Tennessee Tech game with unspecified injuries. 

Terry, Eason and Mitchell missed the Tennessee Tech game for unspecified reasons.

Reach Adam Sparks at adam.sparks@knoxnews.com and on Twitter @AdamSparks.