Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray had a metal plate inserted in his hand today to help his broken thumb heal properly.
The procedure was anticipated and does not affect the six-week recovery period that was originally presented shortly after Bray suffered the injury earlier this month against Georgia, coach Derek Dooley said.
"They have to let the swelling go down and the plate is in only so the bone doesn't grow, so it doesn't heal crooked," Dooley said at his weekly press conference. "The plate's only to help the healing. The scar tissue heals but it can move. If it moves and then it heals, then you've got a crooked thumb. We certainly don't want that with our quarterback."
Former UT wide receiver Gerald Jones underwent a similar procedure last season.
With Bray out until mid-November, senior Matt Simms remains the Vols' starter and freshman Justin Worley is the No. 2 option. When asked if Worley would only enter in an emergency, injury-related situation, Dooley said it was too early to speculate.
"Matt's our quarterback," Dooley said. "He's played one game, so I just think it's a little premature right now."
Simms completed just six of his 20 attempts for 128 yards and two interceptions in his first start of the season. Afterward, he described his performance as "terrible."
Dooley didn't completely disagree with the assessment.
"I think it's fair to say that he didn't play the way he's capable of playing and made some mistakes that really hurt us in the game," Dooley said. "He knows that. We need better play out of the quarterback position for us to compete against good football teams. Really to compete against anybody.
"If you can't get good quarterback play you're not going to beat anybody."