The cast was replaced by a brace on Tyler Bray's right hand.
Then, at least temporarily, the Tennessee quarterback got rid of that, too.
Bray still appeared unable to grip a football Tuesday morning, let alone throw one even after peeling off the softer protection for his surgically-repaired thumb a day after the harder version was removed. And while the sophomore isn't ready to put on pads or play against No. 8 Arkansas on Saturday (TV: ESPN2, 6 p.m.), his recovery seems to be proceeding as planned.
"He doesn't have his range of motion, and it's about what we thought it would be," Vols coach Derek Dooley said. "So, he's right on track — sore, and he's got to get his range of motion back, get his strength back.
"That's what he's working on. Lot of rehab."
That effort included some time on the exercise bike during the open portion of practice, but it didn't feature any passes from Bray — at least not right-handed.
As he has been since getting injured last month against Georgia, Bray was once again out with the Vols during the workout, joking around and throwing some passes with his left hand. But even after he took off the brace, Bray didn't appear capable of doing much with his right, which really doesn't come as a surprise to the Vols (4-5, 0-5 SEC).
UT already was expecting Justin Worley to get a third consecutive start under center as the program looks for a road win over the Razorbacks (8-1, 4-1) in a push for a bowl bid. But if Bray's first appearance with the cast off didn't do anything to change his status for this week, it also didn't do much to clear up when he might be cleared for a return to contribute to another November run to the postseason.
"I think he can do whatever he's capable of doing," Dooley said. "Right now, he's not capable of doing much.
"I don't think (him wanting to rush back for a game) is as much the issue as just getting him out there where we could put him at risk. That's the biggest concern."
Party Foul: Collectively the offense had been in a big-play drought.
Individually, Da'Rick Rogers was dealing with a slump after going four games without a touchdown.
So when the sophomore wide receiver helped snap both strings at the same time with his 47-yard scoring grab last week against Middle Tennessee State, the relief for him was clear as he popped up for a celebration in the end zone. But he was reminded by officials that he had taken things too far with a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, and that message has been reinforced by his coaches since then, as well.
"Yeah, I got in trouble," Rogers said. "Really, I didn't really want to get a penalty. I just wanted to do something to get the team going. It's been a long time since we've been in the end zone. I thought I could get us going with a little something.
"It always feels good to score touchdowns. ... Really, I've just been working hard trying to get back in there, and this week we're going to really focus on getting in the end zone."
And if Rogers can provide an encore to the bomb from Worley, he seems unlikely to duplicate his dance moves.
Though the exact reasons why he might want to avoid them aren't going to be discussed publicly by the Vols.
"We handle it internally," Dooley said. "He wasn't the only one at fault. I mean, half the team is looking at the video board laughing and I'm going off on the sidelines. It's a different generation, man.
"Those kinds of acts are never tolerated or encouraged. It was disappointing. We won't have any more of those."
Bumps And Bruises: Tight end Mychal Rivera worked out in a green, non-contact jersey on Tuesday morning after suffering what is considered to be a minor injury to his right foot last weekend.
Linebacker Austin Johnson was wearing a protective brace on his right arm after "banging up" his elbow, but he pronounced himself fine to play against the Razorbacks.