For the first time in 2020 Chris Oats was at Kroger Field on a Kentucky Football gameday.
The UK linebacker suffered an undisclosed medical emergency in the spring, sidelining him indefinitely from the game of football. Oats spent almost four months in a rehabilitation facility before was able to return to his home in early October. After the Wildcats’ defense pitched a shutout against Mississippi State, Mark Stoops, Jon Sumrall and Vince Marrow delivered him the game ball.
Accompanied by his mother and brother, Oats watched the game from the stands a wheelchair. He received a loud ovation from the Kroger Field crowd when he was shown on the video board in the first quarter.
Oats was wearing his No. 22 jersey while Josh Paschal rocked No. 22 on the field. The defensive captain recorded four tackles, including one for a loss, as the sixth different Wildcat to don 22 this fall, following Boogie Watson, Jordan Wright, Jamin Davis, Keaton Upshaw and DeAndre Square.
Oats’ teammates organized a GoFundMe page to help pay for his extensive medical bills. So far over $36,000 has been raised, but it’s still short of the $50,000 goal. You can help by donating here.
UPDATE: Some more pictures of Oats with his teammates…
— DaGoatSmoke? (@_KS20_) October 31, 2020
— Manny Harper (@mannyharper20) October 31, 2020