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Army to replace Tennessee in Liberty Bowl due to Covid-19

The Vols might not make the trip west across the state because of a virus outbreak. Army is expected to replace the Vols.

Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. celebrates with Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Jalin Hyatt and other teammates after scoring a touchdown during a game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and Tennessee Volunteers, December 12, 2020 at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UPDATE: Army will going to replace Tennessee in the Liberty Bowl, according to Brett McMurphy of Stadium.

The Tennessee Volunteers have yet another Covid-19 outbreak, and this one might cost them their appearance in the 2020 Liberty Bowl against the West Virginia Mountaineers. Chris Low of ESPN says multiple players and head coach Jeremy Pruitt have tested positive for the virus and will be unable to play the game.

Tennessee’s tests were conducted on Sunday per SEC protocol, and those results were returned on Monday morning after Tennessee had accepted the bowl invitation. Those players and staffers within Tennessee’s program who tested positive were retested on Monday to confirm the results. Tennessee also conducted a second round of testing for everybody in the football program on Monday to be sure. The combination of positive tests and subsequent contact tracing doesn’t leave Tennessee with enough players or coaches to participate in the bowl game.

This could mean that the 9-2 Army Black Knights, who through the byzantine and quite unfair bowl process of 2020, could finally get to a postseason reward. That also might see the Mississippi State Bulldogs leave the Armed Forces Bowl behind and head to Memphis, while Army would replace MSU in Fort Worth.

West Virginia was listed as a four-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook over the Vols.