Justin Worley aggravated a thumb injury in Saturday's 45-10 loss to No. 1 Alabama. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Tennessee will start a true freshman quarterback when the Volunteers visit No. 10 Missouri on Saturday.
Jimmy Hyams of WMNL Sports Animal in Knoxville reports that starting quarterback Justin Worley will miss four weeks with torn ligaments in his right thumb. Backup Joshua Dobbs, who's all of 18 years old, will start this weekend against the Tigers.
Worley, a junior, aggravated an existing thumb injury in the first half of Tennessee's 45-10 loss to top-ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa last weekend. He threw two interceptions before giving way to Dobbs for the entire second half. In the first game action of his career, the freshman completed 5-of-12 passes for 75 yards.
Worley is not the first Volunteers quarterback to suffer an injury this season. Redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman, who started Tennessee's 31-17 loss at Florida, is out for the season after undergoing hand surgery. True freshman Riley Ferguson is nursing an injured right leg.
Worley has completed 109-of-196 passes for 1,239 yards and 10 touchdowns, with eight interceptions. Dobbs, a three-star recruit according to Rivals.com, threw for 3,625 yards and 29 touchdowns, and ran for 419 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior at Alpharetta (Ga.) High.