Justin Worley will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery, Tennessee coach Butch Jones confirmed on Tuesday afternoon after practice. He suffered a torn labrum in Tennessee’s loss to Ole Miss in Oxford.
The senior from Rock Hill, S.C., was named the starting quarterback in the preseason and started seven games for the Vols this year, completing 157-of-252 passes for 1,579 yards, 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions as he guided the Vols to a 3-4 mark before injuring his shoulder in the fourth quarter of the Ole Miss game.
“We didn’t know about Justin until late Thursday,” coach Butch Jones said. “I give Justin Worley all the credit in the world. He tried anything and everything in the world to rehabilitate his shoulder back, just could not get the velocity he needs, so he’s out for the rest of the year … (Worley’s) very even-keeled. He was on the sideline for the (South Carolina) game in street clothing. Did a very good job of being there.
“He was at practice today. Still going to be around the team, and now he goes from Player Worley to Coach Worley. And, again, he’s very excited about the victory, he’s a true team player and a great character young man as we all know and it’s very, very unfortunate.”
Status for Smith and Young still uncertain: Butch Jones said the jury is still out on whether receiver Josh Smith (ankle) will play this year.
“Josh Smith, contrary to reports, is not going through surgery, not right now, he’s going through a full examination in the next couple days to determine if he does need surgery,” Jones said. “If that full examination comes to play that it would help his progression, then he will have surgery.”
Jones also said Devrin Young is progressing, but “nowhere near game ready” as he recovers from some cracked ribs suffered n the UTC game.
Dobbs opens up: Quarterback Joshua Dobbs had his first in-week media session since becoming the starting quarterback, and field a variety of questions. We’ll write more on this later in the week, but a few high points:
• Said he’s heard many, many nicknames, but said “Astro” is his favorite
• Said he’s taking 16 hours of credit this semester and his classes are in Thermodynamics, Circuits, Physics, a “Matrix” course, Management and Computer.
• He’s put on about 20 pounds since last time he played
• Described himself as a pro-style quarterback coming out of high school, but has learned to run when the opportunities are there. Very clearly said he doesn’t like to be called a running quarterback, but isn’t afraid to help the team by taking off when he can.
Unlikely MVP: Butch Jones called holder Patrick Ashford the team’s MVP from the South Carolina game for his good hold on Aaron Medley’s final extra point that sent the game into overtime.