Tennessee QB Justin Worley out indefinitely

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Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley is out indefinitely following surgery on the thumb of his throwing hand, UT coach Butch Jones confirmed.

Worley injured the thumb earlier in the season, but he was playing through the issue until it was injured further in the Volunteers' 45-10 loss to Alabama.

"Justin Worley did have surgery on his thumb. ... He'll be out an indefinite period of time," Jones said. "Everything is how the body heals. It could be two weeks, could be three weeks, it could be four weeks. So we'll see how he progresses."

Jones said he understood the injury to be a torn ligament, and that Joshua Dobbs would be Tennessee's starter against Missouri Saturday. See Jones' remarks on Worley and Dobbs below:

Worley, a junior, has struggled at times this season but had established himself as the Vols' best option among young players at the position.

Dobbs saw action against the Crimson Tide after Worley exited.

It could set up a battle of backups in the game, as Missouri's starting quarterback, James Franklin, is questionable to play against the Volunteers. Maty Mauk, who has started in Franklin's two-game absence due to a shoulder sprain, is 1-1 as a starter.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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