A Kentucky football team short on depth could be without one of its defensive leaders for an extended period.
UK Coach Mark Stoops said Wednesday that defensive tackle Donte Rumph suffered an injury in Monday's practice and was being evaluated.
Stoops did not disclose the nature of the injury, but he spoke as if Rumph could be out for the foreseeable future.
"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 were 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. No depth chart has been released, but junior-college transfer Za'Darius Smith and linebacker-turned-lineman Bud Dupree look to be the front-runners at the defensive end positions.
Rumph has the most experience at tackle.
Rumph signed with Kentucky in 2008, but he 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 probably have more information on the significance of Rumph's injury after Friday's practice.