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John Schlarman did not travel with UK to Missouri; Kavosiey Smoke set to return

Schlarman has been battling cancer for the last two years.

Schlarman Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats will be without offensive line coach John Schlarman for today’s contest vs. the Missouri Tigers.

Prior to kickoff, UK announced that Schlarman did not travel with the team to Columbia, though a reason for his absence was not given. Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran will coach the offensive line today.

Schlarman, who played on the UK offensive line from 1994-97 and has been the offensive line coach since 2013, has been battling cholangiocarcinoma, a rare cancer of the bile ducts since the summer of 2018. He has yet to miss a game and has coached some of the best Wildcat offensive lines in program history, and they’ve once again been among the nation’s top o-lines this season.

Following last week’s win over Tennessee — Kentucky’s first victory in Knoxville since 1984 — Schlarman was awarded a game ball by head coach Mark Stoops. Schlarman also gave a fiery pregame speech that you can see in the video below.

Hopefully, this is nothing serious and Schlarman is in good health, but this news is a bit concerning since there’s been no reason given as to why he was unable to travel. Our thoughts and prayers are with Schlarman and his family.

Elsewhere, Kentucky did get some good news today as running back Kavosiey Smoke is in uniform and able to go today. He missed the last two games due to a rib injury suffered vs. Ole Miss. in two games, he has 12 runs for 91 yards and a touchdown. He’ll likely play behind A.J. Rose and Chris Rodriguez Jr., who’ve been getting the bulk of the running back snaps recently, but it’s still good to see Smoke is healthy and able to play again.

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