It’s hard not to feel snake-bit after every single preseason Kentucky football injury. “Why always us?” It’s not bad luck. It’s just football.
Over the last two days UK opponents have taken quite a few lumps, none more so than Missouri. The Tigers’ two top offensive players were carted off the field during Monday’s practice.
All-SEC tight end Albert Okwuegbunam was the first, spraining his knee during a red zone drill. Albert O missed the last four and a half games of last season with a broken scapula. A few plays later, quarterback Kelly Bryant slipped when rolling out of the pocket. Barry Odom said the non-contact injury was a hamstring strain. Each walked off the field before they were carted away from the medical tent. Their timetable for return is uncertain.
Kentucky’s season-opening opponent lost one of their offensive leaders. Toledo’s anchor of the offensive line, Bryce Harris, will miss the entire season with a knee injury. Harris was a second tam All-MAC selection last year and represented the Rockets at MAC Media Day.
“That’s a big blow for our football team and our offensive front,” Toledo head coach Jason Candle said. “That guy is an extension of your coaching staff. That guy’s at MAC media day. He is one of the faces for what this thing looks like.”
They aren’t the only UK opponent to lose a lineman for the season. Arkansas’ Noah Gatlin was competing for the starting spot at right tackle when he suffered a season-ending ACL tear in the first practice of the year.
In the SEC East, Florida defensive back C.J. McWilliams ruptured his Achilles. He’s the second Gator to rupture his Achilles this summer, following inside linebacker David Reese. Just a few miles north of Gainesville, former five-star pass rusher Brenton Cox is reportedly transferring from Georgia.
College football is not for the faint of heart.