Everyone wants to know whether or not sophomore quarterback Drew Barker will be back this season. Barker has been suffering from a back injury that forced him to come out of the New Mexico State game, and rumors have been rampant that he may be out for the year. Last week, Mark Stoops said Barker is definitely out for the Mississippi State game, but they would reevaluate him after that. Today, Stoops was asked for the latest on Barker today, and said the update is…well, there isn’t really an update.
“The update is, it’s about the same. No big jump one way or the other.”
Stoops said despite the lack of progress, he’s not ready to rule Barker out for the rest of the season just yet.
“I’m not going to rule it out yet. Not ready to make that decision — or, the doctors aren’t ready to make that decision.”
Is surgery still an option?
“Not at this point,” Stoops said, adding later that he was proud of how supportive Barker has been of Stephen Johnson in practice lately.
“He’s been very supportive and he helps any way he can. I’ve been proud of him that way. It’s hard, he’s worked hard to get in the position he did and it was a very quick start. I don’t know how the ending is going to go and I don’t think he does, but he’s doing everything he can to help and I appreciate that.”
Stoops said if Stephen Johnson goes down with a significant injury, true freshman Gunnar Hoak will step up in his place.
Other injury notes:
- Linebacker De’Niro Laster, who missed the Vandy game due to an undisclosed injury, was replaced on the depth chart by Kengera Daniel, a move which Stoops said means Laster will be out at least “a couple of weeks.”
- Nose tackle Matt Elam is expected to be back for Mississippi State