Derek Dooley on Tyler Bray: 'He's not a doctor'

photo Tennessee's quarterback Tyler Bray (8) throws to a receiver in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game as he is pressured by Georgia defensive end Garrison Smith (56) on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee offensive linesman Dallas Thomas (71) blocks. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

KNOXVILLE - Injured Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray posted some information on his Twitter account Monday night that likely caused some excitement for Volunteers' fans.

"Thumb is feeling a lot better," wrote the sophomore, who is sidelined for up to six weeks after breaking his thumb against Georgia 17 days ago. "Thanks to volnation for all your support ill be back soon maybe sooner than everyone thinks..."

UT coach Derek Dooley rained on the parade after Tuesday morning's practice, though.

"It's going the same as we always thought," Dooley said of Bray's rehab. "I mean, it's really hard to tell because he's in a cast. Somebody said he tweeted something. He's not a doctor, he's a 19-year-old guy, for lack of a word I could use."

Matt Simms started the last two games in Bray's absence, but the Dooley decided after UT's consecutive 31-point losses to top-ranked LSU and second-ranked Alabama to start true freshman Justin Worley on Saturday's home game against 14th-ranked South Carolina.

Worley, a South Carolina native, played just five snaps against the Crimson Tide and did not attempt a pass.

"Worley did good, he did really well," Dooley said. "He did what he's done the last couple of weeks. He's been a different guy ever since Tyler went down. Just mentally, you can tell, he's into it. There was no difference there, which was good. He's throwing the ball well, which is good. He's managing the plays well, running the offense -- he's just got to prepare well this week and go out and do the best he can."


Linebacker Curt Maggitt and tailback/receiver/return specialist Devrin Young wore green non-contact jerseys during practice. Defensive linemen Daniel Hood and Ben Martin were also limited. Dooley said Monday the Vols' have "a ton of guys who are banged up" after physical games against LSU and 'Bama.


Freshman free safety Brian Randolph, who's been productive in the last two games, made his media debut on Tuesday. The Marietta, Ga., native is entrenched now in a secondary that's still shuffling guys around.

For more coverage, read Wednesday's Times Free Press or follow Tennessee beat writer Patrick Brown on Twitter.