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Mark Stoops: Alex Montgomery out for year, suffered torn ACL on touchdown celebration

Kentucky wide receiver Alexander Montgomery will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL suffered celebrating a touchdown Saturday against Alabama State, coach Mark Stoops announced Monday.
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Montgomery, a 6-2 freshman from Weston, Fla, scored his second career touchdown on a six-yard pass from Jalen Whitlow on the first play of the second quarter. The score gave UK a 21-7 lead, and Montgomery leaped toward teammate Demarco Robinson to celebrate with a chest bump. He landed awkwardly from the chest bump, and his ACL was torn.


Montgomery wasn’t the only wide receiver injured Saturday. Freshman Ryan Timmons, the dynamic 5-10 playmaker from Frankfort, sprained his ankle in the second half, only a few plays away from when offensive coordinator Neal Brown said Timmons would be lifted from the blowout game.


Stoops said Timmons “may not play” Saturday at home against No. 8 Missouri.


Junior wide receiver Javess Blue will be ready to go against the Tigers, Stoops said. Blue was hit in the eye with a football while warming up playing catch before the Alabama State game. His eye was swollen shut, and he did not play.


Stoops said he planned to talk to his team Monday about finding a balance between celebration and caution.


“You know, I do think about it when they’re doing that stuff, even at practice sometimes we’re having fun. You don’t want to take away the energy. You want them excited,” he said. “Like, somebody commented the other day, we want to be cheering quite a bit and creating big plays and we want the excitement there. We’ve got to be smart about that.


“I tell you, I’m even nervous—we’ve got a couple of those guys that can do backflips,” he said. “Sometimes they’ll do that before practice and get guys sparked up. I’m a little leery of that as well. So yeah, we might have to get our feet on the ground for celebrations right now. We can’t afford to use anybody else.”


The Wildcats’ depth at wide receiver is suddenly being challenged. Timmons was second on the team in both receptions and yards, 27 for 295, and Montgomery is third with 16 receptions and fifth with 137 yards. Stoops said his hope was Demarco Robinson, who is fourth with 140 receiving yards, will continue to play better as early season bumps and bruises continue to heal. He also said A.J. Legree has been playing better lately. Legree has four catches for 36 yards this season.


The Wildcats are deep at tight end—three have caught passes this season, including third-stringer Steven Borden’s 38-yard touchdown Saturday—and could also look to tight ends more often in passing situations, Stoops said.


The Wildcats play Missouri at noon ET Saturday on ESPNU.

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