LEXINGTON, Ky. — Neither Mark Stoops nor Stephen Johnson mentioned it after the Vanderbilt game, but Johnson is dealing with a “banged up” wrist, Stoops said on his radio show Monday.
The junior quarterback struggled through the air Saturday, passing for just 49 yards, and it’s unclear when his wrist started bothering him.
“What I love about him, he’s banged up,” Stoops said. “His wrist is banged up. He would never say that. Afterward, our trainer comes and reports to me. ‘Stephen, was your wrist bothering you?’ He’s like, ‘No. No I just missed those throws.’ A lot of people say ‘Yeah, it’s a little sore.’ Not him.”
Johnson began the season as the second-team quarterback, but has started for the Wildcats since Drew Barker left the first series of the New Mexico State game with a back injury. Barker was given a 3-5 week window before team trainers and doctors were going to reevaluate him, but Stoops said Saturday that they’re not ready to do that yet.
Freshman Gunnar Hoak is the first option behind Johnson, and Stoops addressed the quarterback situation on his show.
“With Gunnar, we will continue to rep him and get him ready,” Stoops said. “It kind of depends on what happens with Drew. Drew, we have to see where he goes in the next couple of weeks and see if Stephen can stay healthy. If Stephen can stay healthy, I have a lot of confidence in Stephen. I know there’s some good and some bad, but that’s more than likely going to be the same way with Gunnar, too.”
Kentucky is also dealing with injuries at the outside linebacker/defensive end position. Without mentioning any names, he said, “I think a couple guys will be out for a few weeks.”