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Drew Barker back injury is significant, but not season-ending; Gunnar Hoak getting more reps

Drew Barker has not been lost for the season, but with no clear return date, Gunnar Hoak may have his redshirt pulled.

NCAA Football: New Mexico State at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats have not lost Drew Barker for the rest of this season, but there is still no clear-cut return for the starting quarterback.

Following Wednesday’s practice session, head coach Mark Stoops revealed that Barker’s back injury was significant, but would not require surgery. Almost any kind of back surgery is season-ending at this point, but thankfully, Barker seems to have avoided that.

Stoops did admit Barker could miss anywhere from 3-4 weeks to the entire season based on how fast and well it heals.

There is also this nugget from reporter Justin Rowland:

That pretty much falls in line with what Stoops said, but it’s still good to see Barker’s injury is not believed to be serious enough to end his season just four weeks in.

With Barker out, Stephen Johnson will be the starter going forward with Luke Wright and Gunnar Hoak working as the backups. Even though Hoak is a true freshman that the staff hoped to redshirt, Stoops admitted Hoak will now work like he is the backup quarterback.