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Stoops: Rodriguez out for No. 20 Kentucky, facing suspension

Syndication: The Courier-Journal

Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez, Jr. (24) pumps up the crowd after scoring a touchdown a NCAA college football game in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl against Iowa, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. 211231 Iowa Kentucky Citrus Fb 008 Jpg Syndication Hawkcentral

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. will not play in the season opener against Miami of Ohio, and coach Mark Stoops expects multiple-game suspensions for the No. 20 Wildcats’ rushing leader and other players.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty this summer to driving under the influence and other charges following his arrest in May. Neither the senior nor linebacker Jordan Wright was listed on the depth chart released Monday, but Stoops said they were “unavailable” rather than suspended. He did not offer further details during a news conference.

“These players have some rights as well and I have to be very conscientious of that,” he said. “I expect a few of them will have multiple-game suspensions, but I don’t know. I’ll address it next week.”

Discipline was expected for the first team All-Southeastern Conference selection, but Stoops has sidestepped questions about his status throughout fall camp.

Rodriguez is coming off a season in which he rushed for a career-high 1,379 yards and nine touchdowns to help Kentucky finish 10-3 last season and win the Citrus Bowl. Wright had 30 tackles, six pass breakups and four tackles for loss in nine games last fall.

Senior Kavosiey Smoke and Sam Houston State transfer Ramon Jefferson are listed 1-2 on the depth chart for the non-conference meeting. Kentucky begins SEC play at Florida on Sept. 10.