KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It probably isn’t an excuse for what turned out to be a poor defensive performance, but one of Georgia’s best players on that side of the ball wasn’t available for most of the game.

Jordan Jenkins, the senior outside linebacker, appeared to play less than half of the team’s snaps during Saturday’s 38-31 loss. Afterwards the coaches acknowledged that Jenkins was dealing with an injury.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt said it was a hip flexor, while head coach coach Mark Richt said it was a groin injury (They can essentially be the same thing). What’s clear is that he isn’t 100 percent.

“Jordan’s been hurt for a couple of weeks,” Pruitt said. “He’s been playing hurt. He tried to play tonight and just couldn’t go.”

Jenkins did start the game, but wasn’t credited with any tackles. He entered the game second on the team with 29 tackles, and first in sacks (three) and tackles-for-loss (7.5).

Sophomore Davin Bellamy saw a lot of time in Jenkins’ place.

“Obviously you give up 38 points really nobody played any good,” Pruitt said.