The strength of Kentucky’s football team is depth. That strength is being challenged by some preseason injuries and the coronavirus.
Saturday morning Kentucky held their third scrimmage of the preseason, one more than in a typical training camp. Mark Stoops had to make a few adjustments to accommodate a few unspecified position groups that have been hit harder than others by injury and the coronavirus.
“We’re getting thin at certain positions and so we do have to look at that and alter some of the scrimmage today,” Stoops said. “Everything is still manageable at this point in time, but it does get you a touch thin when you’re going three and four groups and getting into a heavy scrimmage. Overall, I’m very pleased with getting it in and getting some live action, getting some more looks, getting Terry (Wilson) under center again, taking those snaps and continuing to get the rust off; overall a very productive day.”
Stoops reiterated that it is not yet a major problem on the team, but it is the first significant contact tracing obstacle they’ve faced.
“It is an issue. I wouldn’t say it’s been a major issue for us to this point. I did have to alter portions of the scrimmage today because of that, but we still got a lot of good work in and got the players the necessary work. It definitely is different having to manage that.”
Positive cases of coronavirus have remained low around the Kentucky football program. Six players reported to campus with antibodies and three players tested positive for the virus the week classes began on campus. Now the players have become even more integrated with the general student population. Stoops is well aware of the risks and sacrifices his players are making.
“We’ve been very good percentage-wise. We’d like to be perfect. We’re not. But as I just mentioned to them, continue to make the sacrifices that they have. It’s extremely important. We’ve worked very hard for a long time to get in this position. We have a great opportunity in front of us and I appreciate what they’ve done to this point because our numbers are certainly lower than many.
“We want to continue to work to try to get them at zero. Obviously, they’re making some sacrifices and doing some good things. Is it a challenge? Absolutely. These are young men and young people that are in college. They’re exposed to a lot. We all know this can happen to anybody. You can get it grabbing a coffee or grabbing some food or going to the grocery store. We just want to continue to be diligent and continue to take the steps necessary to keep us all safe.”