UK FOOTBALL | Melvin Lewis fractures fibula, out "for some time"
10/15/2015 01:51 PM
LEXINGTON — The Kentucky Wildcats (4-2, 2-2 SEC) lost more than the game in Thursday night’s 30-27 defeat to the Auburn Tigers.
Head coach Mark Stoops confirmed after the contest starting nose guard Melvin Lewis fractured his left fibula in the second quarter and will be out “for some time.”
“It hits us,” defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot told media members about Lewis’ injury. “He’s not only a great player but a tremendous leader. He’s a guy that has overcome so much, and he’s a guy that has developed himself into a great player.”
Lewis, a junior college transfer from Compton, CA, suffered the injury in a scrum while wrestling down an Auburn ball carrier just before halftime.
The 6-foot-4, 332-pound senior laid on the field for several minutes before two trainers helped him to his feet, supporting Lewis under each arm as he gingerly limped into the locker room.
Sophomore Matt Elam filled in for Lewis in the second half, finishing with a season-high six tackles, and the coaching staff now expects the former five-star recruit to log significant minutes going forward.
“He’s gotta step up,” Eliot said. “That’s a big job for us in the 3-4, with the nose guard. That guy is very valuable, holds down the middle and stops the run and pushes the pocket.”
Click below to watch KSTV’s discuss Lewis’ unfortunate injury, the impact it will have on Kentucky’s defense, and the important opportunity for Elam to finally play to his full potential: