Sunday, October 9, 2011
Tyler Bray out with broken thumb
By Edward Aschoff
Tennessee will be without starting quarterback Tyler Bray for at least four weeks after the sophomore broke his thumb against Georgia Saturday.
According to a Tennessee release, Bray's recovery could take six weeks, meaning he might not be game-ready until the Vanderbilt game on Nov. 19 or the Kentucky game on Nov. 26.
Bray's injury now leaves Tennessee without two of its top offensive weapons. First, wide receiver Justin Hunter went down with a season-ending knee injury against Florida. Now, the starting quarterback, who had thrown for 1,328 yards and 14 touchdowns before his injury, is out for an extended period of time.
The Vols will now turn to redshirt senior Matt Simms -- again. Simms played in 11 games last year, starting the first eight. He passed for 1,460 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions in 2010. After Tennessee began the season 2-6, Simms was benched for Bray, who won Tennessee's last four regular season games before losing in double overtime to North Carolina in the Music City Bowl.
Simms steps in to make his first start of the season against an LSU team that is fresh off dismantling Florida and freshman quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who made his first-career start. Obviously, Simms has much more experience than Brissett, but this won't be the most welcoming first defensive matchup for Simms.
The good thing is that beyond his experience, Simms has a lot of confidence and his teammates have the utmost respect for him. They will really have to rally behind him with Alabama, South Carolina and Arkansas still looming.