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October 14, 2013Jalen Whitlow has an ankle sprain that is improving, but it's likely to keep the Kentucky quarterback out of next week's game at Mississippi State.
UK coach Mark Stoops said Monday on his weekly radio show that Whitlow's sprained left ankle was "better today than it was yesterday," calling that "a good sign."
Trainer Jim Madaleno will evaluate the ankle again Tuesday, Stoops said. The Wildcats have a bye this weekend and will play at Mississippi State next Thursday night.
"I'd say there's a good chance he'll be out at least this next game," Stoops said on the radio show.
Maxwell Smith would start at quarterback if Whitlow is unable to play.
Smith has completed 51 of 92 passes for 710 yards and five touchdowns with one interception this season. Whitlow is 50 of 76 for 499 yards and three touchdowns with one pick and has run 49 times for 238 yards and three scores.
The Kentucky staff will take a look at Patrick Towles and Reese Phillips in the coming days to determine a second-stringer.
"We'll get both of them going and see what our best option is for a backup," Stoops said on the radio. "Right now it would be Patrick."
Earlier this season, Kentucky rotated Whitlow and Smith, sometimes using both quarterbacks on the same drive. UK settled on Whitlow prior to its 35-28 loss at South Carolina on Oct. 5. Whitlow played the entire game against the Gamecocks.
Stoops was noncommittal on his radio show about whether Kentucky would consider rotating again while Whitlow is sidelined.
"Not unless we truly believe that Patrick would give us an opportunity to win that game and beyond for the rest of the season," he said. "We're in this to win some games. Mississippi State is up next, and we'll do whatever we have to do to give us the best opportunity to win that game."