Maxwell Smith injury: Kentucky QB out with torn ankle ligament

Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Joker Phillips' hot seat might have just engulfed itself in flames, as the 1-4 Wildacats have lost their starting QB for what could be the entire year.

Kentucky will be without starting quarterback Maxwell Smith for the foreseeable future, a huge blow for a Wildcats team that's winless in SEC play, but led South Carolina early on Saturday evening before losing 38-17.

Head coach Joker Phillips confirmed that Smith will need surgery on torn ankle ligaments after an injury he sustained in the first quarter on Saturday. Smith also missed a Week 3 loss at Florida with a shoulder injury. Even with the missed time, Smith is second in the SEC in completions (103) and has 975 passing yards.

The likely candidate to replace Smith will be freshman Jalen Whitlow, who came in on Saturday, but the Wildcats will also likely play true freshman Patrick Towles, who was scheduled to redshirt. Senior Morgan Newton is likely out of the race altogether after a three interception performance against Florida two weeks ago:

"We'll have to play them both. It's going to take an effort of both of them. And it could be right in the middle of a series. It could be play after play after play, switching them out."

Whitlow threw two picks against South Carolina, but passed for one touchdown and ran for another to help create an early 17-7 Kentucky lead.

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