Eight University of Kentucky football players will be held out of Saturday’s Citrus Bowl, according to a list of “inactive” players released by the school. They are being held out due to a combination of injuries, positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing.
J.J. Weaver, the Wildcats’ leader in interceptions (two) and sacks (six), is among the players who are unavailable to play against Iowa. His absence means that UK will be without its top two pass rushers; defensive end Josh Paschal, its leader in tackles for loss (15.5), was “highly questionable” to play in the game, according to head coach Mark Stoops on Friday. He was on the inactive list.
Kavosiey Smoke, the Cats’ second-leading rusher with 416 yards and four touchdowns on 81 carries, won’t be available, nor will wide receivers Josh Ali and Isaiah Epps, whose unavailability for the game was previously disclosed; they were involved in a December car accident from which injuries were sustained that limited their ability to play.
Starting left tackle Dare Rosenthal was on the inactive list; guard Kenneth Horsey is expected to start in his place, with true freshman Jager Burton to start at one of the guard spots in place of Horsey.
Kentucky’s depth at linebacker could be tested; it will be without Trevin Wallace and Marquez Bembry. Wallace, a true freshman, has become a key rotation piece among the interior linebackers while Bembry, who started multiple games at linebacker last season, likely would have seen some snaps in his final game as a Wildcat; he entered the NCAA transfer portal in December.
This story was originally published January 1, 2022 12:48 PM.