The University of Kentucky football team opened the doors to the media for a look inside spring practice for the first time under new head coach Mark Stoops on Wednesday.
The team is midway through its second week of spring practice, which culminates with the annual Blue-White Game on April 13.
Stoops told the press that defensive tackle Donte Rumph sustained an injury in Monday’s practice and was still being evaluated.
Stoops did not disclose the exact nature of the injury.
“It looks like it’s a fairly significant injury,” Stoops said. “He may be out for a while, may require some surgery. We’ll see. We’ll keep you updated. It’s a big loss though. He probably is the most consistent player we had going on defense, so big loss for us.”
Rumph started all 11 games he played last season. His 36 tackles, six tackles for loss and four sacks in 2012 are the most of any returning player who played on the defensive line last season.
He was expected to be part of a formidable front line for the Cats, who will play a 4-3 defense in 2013. Though no depth chart has been released, junior college transfer Za’Darius Smith and linebacker-turned-lineman Bud Dupree look to be the frontrunners at the defensive end positions.
Rumph has the most experience at the tackle position.
Rumph signed with Kentucky in 2008, but played two seasons at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia before arriving in Lexington. The South Carolina native played all 12 games as a freshman in 2010 and broke into UK’s starting lineup the next season with seven starts.
A UK spokesman said Stoops would likely have more information on the significance of Rumph’s injury after Friday’s practice.