It was originally reported that Worley would be out about a month according to a local Knoxville radio station, however, head coach Butch Jones clarified the issue on Tuesday evening:
“He’ll be out an indefinite period of time,” Jones said. “Everything is how the body heals. It could be two weeks. It could be three weeks. It could be four weeks. We’ll see how he progresses.”
Now, with the loss of Worley, it’s all but set that true freshman Joshua Dobbs will get the nod on Saturday against the Missouri Tigers, in a pivotal SEC East showdown. Should Missouri win, then they set themselves up wonderfully in a three-way tiebreaker situation in one of the tightest divisions in all of college football at the moment.
Dobbs will be the third starting quarterback used by the Vols this season. Another freshman, Nathan Peterman, got a start earlier this year against the Florida Gators, a game in which he suffered an injury as well.
Peterman did practice on Tuesday, but his status is still unknown at this point, leading toward Dobbs getting the start and freshman Riley Ferguson serving as the backup.
Jones also explained his decision to start Dobbs over Ferguson, citing the experience he did gain for himself while replacing the injured Worley against Alabama:
“I’m comfortable with both (Dobbs and Ferguson),” Jones said. “They both have done a great job, but I think we’re going to lean toward the game experience that Josh was able to garner in the Alabama game.”