By John Brice /

A fixture in the starting lineup since No. 18 Tennessee posted a narrow win last month against Ohio, Jack Jones now is trying to stay healthy enough to remain in the Volunteers’ starting front.

The sophomore guard from Murfreesboro’s Oakland High School tore ligaments in his thumb in the first half last Saturday of the Vols’ 49-10 shellacking at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

A 6-foot-4, 307-pound former two-time Tennessee Class 6A Mr. Football award winner, Jones underwent surgery Monday to repair the ligaments, which were damaged but not enough to prevent Jones from going the distance in the Vols’ worst loss since 2013.