KNOXVILLE — Injury-riddled Tennessee senior defensive end Ben Martin went down again Thursday, leaving the indoor complex on crutches after suffering a lower leg injury.
Two sources said late Thursday night that Martin apparently tore the Achilles’ tendon and likely will miss the 2010 season. He does have a redshirt year available.
Martin, a former five-star recruit from Cincinnati, has been plagued by injuries throughout his Volunteers career.
“We’ll see if it’s serious or not. I don’t know yet,” coach Derek Dooley said after practice. “I think it might be an Achilles’ or something. It’s not his knee.”
Dooley admitted being frustrated at not having a true opportunity to watch the talented senior play off the edge.
“I’ve never seen Ben since I got here,” Dooley said. “He didn’t go through any snaps in the spring. He’s been kind of this mystery to me. He hadn’t been 100 percent since I got here.
The silver lining is that defensive end is UT’s deepest position. The Vols have as many as four pairs of ends who could be ready to help by the Sept. 4 season opener against UT-Martin.
“It’s been a really tough road for Ben,” junior linebacker Austin Johnson said. “It definitely hurts, but he’ll push through it.”