Kentucky was significantly shorthanded last Saturday against Alabama. It sounds like the Wildcats are looking at a similar situation on Saturday against another SEC title contender.

Mark Stoops shared with reporters Wednesday that his UK squad is currently without 18 players and 10 staffers due to COVID-19 (cases, contact tracing) and injuries.

The Wildcats will closely follow the results of one more round of testing before boarding the plane to Gainesville, Florida.

“We can’t afford anymore,” Stoops told reporters. “We get tested again tomorrow morning and let’s hope — we can’t afford anymore.”

“To say it’s not strange, that’s an understatement because every day you’re holding on,” Stoops added. “Every time my trainer and [Cheif of Staff] Dan Brezowitz are walking down my hall, ‘Please, stay away.’ I’m trying to keep my distance from those guys and we’re getting people dinged a couple of times a day.”

As for now, Kentucky at No. 6 Florida is scheduled for a noon ET kickoff on Saturday from The Swamp, with the game airing on ESPN.

From a Florida perspective, it would be difficult to reschedule UF-UK. The Gators are set to play Tennessee on Dec. 5 and LSU on Dec. 12. Dan Mullen’s squad is also in first place in the SEC East and on track to play in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 19.

[H/T Kentucky Sports Radio’s Nick Roush]