By LARRY VAUGHT
Any football coach always knows there’s a chance a player could suffer a season-ending injury. Certainly Mark Stoops has seen it happen at UK to players such as quarterback Drew Barker, offensive tackle Landon Young and defensive back Davonte Robinson.
Now Kentucky has lost quarterback Terry Wilson with a season-ending knee injury in week two.
That made me think back to a question Kentucky coach Mark Stoops got asked a week ago about how hard it is personally when a player goes down and what advice does he share with them when it happens.
“There’s really nothing you could say that’s going to make them feel much better,” Stoops said.
Totally agree. As a certain UK basketball coach might say, there’s no magic wand to fix a season-ending injury.
“Again, I think it’s reality. If you play this sport it’s going to happen to you at some point or another if you play long enough. So it’s very hard because those guys put a lot of work in,” Stoops said. “They put a lot of work in for a lot of years for only so many opportunities. So it is a difficult situation.”
That led him to talk about Robinson, who was expected to be UK’s best defensive back this season.
“There’s not a lot of time to sit around and feel sorry yourself or for the team. So Davonte’s in good spirits and working hard,” Stoops said.
That led him to mention freshman quarterback Nik Scalzo, who needed surgery for a knee injury last November. He re-injured the same knee last month, needed surgery and is out for the year.
“I really feel for Nick because he just went through it. Poor kid just went through a whole year of rehab and comes out and got to do it again. That’s not a lot of fun. There’s a lot of pain involved with that injury,” Stoops said.
Now he has to try and console Wilson, who is 12-3 as UK’s starter, while also rallying his team behind backup quarterback Sawyer Smith
“We support them (injured players), that’s for sure,” Stoops said last week. “We support them and encourage them and go sit with them and talk with them, but there’s not, I don’t think there’s anything, any one thing you could say to somebody to make them feel a lot better.”
My guess is that Wilson — in spite of the support he’s had from UK teammates and fans since his injury Saturday night — would totally agree.