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Tennessee starting CB Kamal Hadden undergoes season-ending surgery after suffering injury in loss to Alabama

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Tennessee starting cornerback Kamal Hadden underwent season-ending shoulder surgery Thursday for an injury suffered during the team’s Week 8 loss at Alabama. Hadden, a redshirt senior, posted to social media that his season was over before the school confirmed the surgery to ESPN. 

Hadden registered 19 tackles, seven passes defended and three interceptions on the season. The development leaves the No. 21 Volunteers without their most productive defensive back. Barring an unforeseen turn of events, it also signals the end of Hadden’s NCAA career, as he was in his final season of eligibility. 

“I was just getting comfortable, the work was just starting to show, [and] I was showing the world what I already knew,” Hadden wrote Thursday on instagram. “My last year, my bag year, and I strike out … I feel like I let everybody down; The fam, gang, the team, everybody. But I always took the longer route, I always was in a fight with adversity, I always had it a [little] harder, [and ] I always wanted it a [little] tougher cause at the end the win a [little] more greater. … The get back [starts] now.”

In total, Hadden has made 15 starts for Tennessee since arriving to the program in 2021, including all seven games this season. He began his collegiate career at the JUCO level and spent an offseason at Auburn between the 2020 and 2021 seasons before entering the transfer portal and landing with the Volunteers. 

Tennessee returns to action Saturday at Kentucky. The Volunteers head to Lexington with a defense that ranks fifth in the SEC against the pass, allowing 201 passing yards per contest. Tennessee ranks fourth in the conference in total defense at an average of 310.9 yards allowed per game. The Vols rank third within the SEC in scoring defense, holding opponents to 19.4 points on average. 

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