Stoops: Injured Whitlow returns to practice

After thinking it could be weeks that Kentucky would be without starting quarterback Jalen Whitlow, Coach Mark Stoops said the sophomore actually was able to practice on Sunday.

Jalen is improved,” Stoops said at his weekly Monday news conference. “Practiced yesterday, he’ll practice today. We’ll see how that goes.”

Backup quarterback Maxwell Smith still got a majority of the first-team repetitions, Stoops said.

When asked if Whitlow was limited in practice, Stoops didn’t say.

“He was out there practicing,” Stoops said. “Max was getting most of the starting reps. But he was out there working. We’ll see how it goes in the next couple of days.”

Late last week, offensive coordinator Neal Brown said a healthy Whitlow would make UK’s offense most effective.

“He’s one of our better players and he adds a dimension to our offense that we need, because he makes teams defend us in a totally different way that gives us an opportunity for our young receiving corps to get open in one-on-one situations,” Brown said. “They don’t have to worry – we see a lot more one-safety (looks) when Jalen’s in the game, just because they gotta get another hat in the box. But, yeah, the sooner he can get back, the better. It’ll be better for us.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at jsmith3@herald-leader.com.
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