KNOXVILLE - Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley said at his weekly news conference Monday that quarterback Tyler Bray has been cleared to return to practice and his status is questionable as the Volunteers prepare for Saturday night's home game with Vanderbilt.
Bray has missed the last five games with a broken thumb suffered in the loss to Georgia.
"I really won’t know until we start practicing to see how he can take a snap, how accurately he can throw it, and then he’s going to have a learning curve because he’s been out of ball for five, six weeks," Dooley said. "That’s a long time, so we’ll see. We’ve still got to get the other guys ready to play and we’ll just kind of take it day by day.
"We’ll put him in some plays. It’s just a little premature for me to say he’s going to take all the (first-team) reps. He’s going to get in, but we’re just going to see what he can do in individual, see how we go, throw some seven-on-seven and take it from there."
Dooley said there isn't a point in the week where he'll need to know if Bray is healthy enough to play.
"The reality is, if he’s ready to go, we’d be crazy not to at least give him a shot given the inconsistency that we’ve had at that position," he said.
More coverage in Tuesday's Times Free Press and on Twitter.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...