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Kentucky Football: Injuries to Wide Receivers Hampering Quarterback Competition

Kentucky has had a rash of relatively minor injuries to the wide receiving corps that is costing the quarterbacks reps.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

I mentioned this in the Quickies today, but the latest report on the health of the receiving corps is not good. Most of UK's top returning receivers are injured in some way, from recovering from surgery to various other "dings" that will mean the Wildcats will have a lot of their younger targets on the field for the Blue-White game on Saturday. From Kyle Tucker's Courier-Journal article:

Sophomore Jeff Badet is the latest to go down. He "twisted an ankle pretty good" Monday, Stoops said. The severity of that injury is unclear, but Stoops added him to the list of "banged-up" receivers, along with sophomore Ryan Timmons, freshman Thaddeus Snodgrass and top walk-on Joey Herrick.

The lack of receivers is having a negative impact on the quarterback competition, understandably, and could set back the process of naming a starter. In fact, the lack of receivers has affected the number of reps they have been able to get in practice:

The effect the thin receiving corps is having on offensive coordinator Neal Brown's quarterbacks , though, is a challenge. no joke. True freshman Drew Barker, redshirt freshman Reese Phillips and sophomore Patrick Towles are in a tight battle but lately have struggled to get enough throwing reps in practice. That's why Brown, a 34-year-old former UK receiver, and a graduate assistant were out running routes and catching passes after Monday's practice.

"It makes it a lot more difficult" to judge the quarterbacks, Brown said. "We've gotta build in pre-practice and post-practice stuff to make sure they're getting enough reps in the stuff that we're going to run."

I don't like hearing that, and due to the uncertainty surrounding the quarterback battle, this problem is likely to set the team back a bit when it comes to getting a final pecking order named for this crucial spot. Fortunately, none of the receiver injuries are serious enough to impact the team long term other than to minimize the reps they, and the QB's will be getting in this spring.