LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky sophomore QB Drew Barker seems unlikely to suit up Saturday against South Carolina based on what coach Mark Stoops said at his Monday press conference.
Barker, who exited the New Mexico State game with a back injury and was carted off the sidelines, is still listed atop UK’s depth chart, but that seems to be nothing more than a formality. Barker’s status seems doubtful at best moving forward.
“I’m in no position to talk about that right now,” Stoops first said. “He had an MRI. He’s gonna consult with our doctors and some specialists and we’ll get to the bottom of it and see what’s best for him.”
But as Stoops was pressed on it more, he said it’s not the first time Barker has dealt with back injuries.
“It’s not just one hit,” Stoops said. “So if you look at the hit it doesn’t look anything too much, but I think you put that and compound it on some of the back problems that he’s had, even going back to last week at Florida.”
The coach said a few issues with Barker’s back came up in the summer, and that, “some of this is chronic.”
Junior backup QB Stephen Johnson was impressive Saturday, throwing for 300 yards and three touchdowns in Barker’s absence. Stoops said Johnson will play against South Carolina despite Barker’s status, but at this point, Barker’s status doesn’t sound promising.