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Iowa vs. Kentucky: Injuries, opt-outs, transfer portal entries for Music City Bowl

Here’s who won’t be playing in Nashville for the New Year’s Eve bowl game.

Louisville v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Iowa Hawkeyes are taking on the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, Dec. 31 at noon ET in the Music City Bowl. Iowa is a field goal favorite in this one at DraftKings Sportsbook. The total is sitting at a record low 31 points. That is due in part to Iowa playing in this game, but also due to the sizable number of notable names that won’t be playing due to various reasons. Injuries, transfer portal decisions, and NFL Draft declarations have shaken up both rosters.

The Hawkeyes will be short their starting quarterback, Spencer Petras, who is in recovery from a shoulder injury. They’re also without backup Alex Padilla, who is in the transfer portal. On the defensive side of the ball, safety Kaevon Merriweather has opted out of the game after declaring for the draft.

The Wildcats will also be short their own starting QB, as Will Levis is headed to the draft. He’s joined on the sidelines by cornerback Carrington Valentine and running back Christopher Rodriguez, Jr., both of whom are opting out to focus on their futures in the pros.

Key players that have opted-out, injuries for Music City Bowl


QB Spencer Petras - Injury (Out)
QB Alex Padilla - Transfer portal
RB Gavin Williams - Transfer portal
WR Arland Bruce IV - Transfer portal
WR Keagan Johnson - Transfer portal
OL Josh Volk - Transfer portal
LB Jestin Jacobs - Transfer portal
CB Terry Roberts - Transfer portal
S Reggie Bracy - Transfer portal
S Kaevon Merriweather - NFL Draft
TE Sam LaPorta - Injury (Probable)
CB Cooper Dejean - Injury (Probable)


QB Will Levis - NFL Draft
RB Kavosiey Smoke - Transfer portal
RB Christopher Rodriguez, Jr. - NFL Draft
WR Chris Lewis - Transfer portal
WR Chauncey Magwood - Transfer portal
WR DeMarcus Harris - Transfer portal
TE Keaton Upshaw - Transfer portal
OG John Young - Transfer portal
OT Kiyaunta Goodwin - Transfer portal
CB Carrington Valentine - NFL Draft
RB Ramon Jefferson - Injury (Out)
WR Tayvion Robinson - Injury (Questionable)