Vols Jacques Smith fractures thumb at practice

Vols Jacques Smith fractures thumb at practice

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Knoxville (WATE) - Tennessee defensive lineman Jacques Smith had surgery for a fractured right thumb on Wednesday and could be out of action 4-6 weeks.

Tennessee head coach Butch Jones said Smith suffered the injury on Tuesday and said it's possible the senior from Ooltewah could return for the season opener on Aug. 31 against Austin Peay.

"That's football, it gives another person a chance to develop," Jones said after practice on Wednesday. 

"I already saw Jacques, he's in great spirits and looking forward to getting back. We may have him back for the Austin-Peay game, that's what we're looking towards, he may be good to go. We will know more details in about a week or so."

Smith figures to be a key player on Tennessee's revamped 4-3 defense this season-- he started six games last year and registered two sacks from the linebacker position.

Jones also said linebacker Corey Vereen will have an MRI exam for a knee injury, perhaps on Thursday. 

The extent of the injury won't be known until then. 

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