Put on the spot once again during his call-in radio show Monday evening, Stoops expanded a bit on Jones’ injury and availability this weekend and beyond.
In short, the standout linebacker is still undergoing tests on his injured left foot, but he’s unlikely to play this weekend against South Carolina. If he’s forced to miss time beyond that, Stoops will confirm that at a later date.
“I was just talking to the team, lecturing the team about that,” he said. “When a player is definitely out, I’ve always taken the approach of just reporting that, you know, because it is what it is. With his, in some cases, we’re unsure until we get further tests. So the chances of him playing this week are doubtful and that’s why I try to be vague.”
Jones injured his foot on a tackle with nine minutes remaining in the first quarter. He returned to play and secured a key interception to prevent the Rebels from scoring before halftime, but went down again in the third quarter and had to be helped off the field. He was then spotted on the sideline on crutches in the fourth quarter.
Through five games, Jones has 31 total tackles (13 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and one interception.
In his absence, D’Eryk Jackson stepped up at linebacker, recording three solo tackles and a crucial pass deflection on second and long during Kentucky’s comeback effort. Should Jones miss time, it will be Jackson taking over.
“He did good,” Stoops said of the junior out of Dublin, GA. “Each of the backers have their moments, you know? … We are definitely banged up, but that’s the nature of it. That’s this league, it’s tough. You’ve got to regroup.”
Jackson has recorded 11 total tackles in three games this season, pushing his career total to 33 (18 solo) to go with two interceptions and one pass deflection.
Next man up.