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Kentucky Tight End Keaton Upshaw Suffers Preseason Injury, Out Indefinitely

Photo via SEC

Photo via SEC

Liam Coen’s offense is losing firepower in the preseason. Matt Jones reports that Kentucky tight end Keaton Upshaw suffered an injury during preseason training and is sidelined indefinitely. Mark Stoops is expected share more details on Upshaw’s timetable for return this afternoon at SEC Media Days.

A 6-foot-7, 245 pound athlete from Lima, Oh., everyone around the UK football program expected a big 2021 season from Upshaw. Without a plethora of reliable options at wide receiver, Coen’s new scheme provides an ideal alternative, leaning on the tight ends more heavily in the pass game. Although not the most experienced player, Upshaw is by far the top pass-catcher of the group.

In 2020 Upshaw led Kentucky in receiving touchdowns with three, and he was second to only Josh Ali in receptions (16) and yards (193). His contested, game-tying touchdown reception against Florida was one of the most impressive catches of the season.

This is not the tight ends’ first serious run-in with the injury bug. Kentucky’s coaches planned on playing Upshaw as a true freshman until he suffered a season ending knee injury in the first weeks of the 2018 season. Super senior Justin Rigg suffered multiple gnarly injuries early in his career, including a lacerated spleen in one spring practice. Brenden Bates will be asked to step up in Upshaw’s absence, but the Cincinnati Moeller product also missed five weeks of action last year with an injury.

If Upshaw is unable to play this fall, the Wildcats still have experience to lean on and could add to their reinforcements. Bowling Green product Jordan Dingle was one of the highest-ranked signees in the 2021 recruiting class. If he’s too wet behind the ears to play this fall, two wide receivers are built like tight ends and have the blocking acumen to move to Vince Marrow’s meeting room: Michigan State transfer Tre’Von Morgan and Louisville Male product Izayah Cummings.

Two Wildcats’ previously suffered season ending injuries in the offseason, wide receiver Clevan Thomas and linebacker D’Eryk Jackson. Both were expected to compete for starting positions in 2021.


Stoops confirmed Upshaw’s injury with local reporters Tuesday afternoon. “We will assess it. Traditionally speaking that is a season-ending injury, but we will see and we need to confirm that.”

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

13 Comments for Kentucky Tight End Keaton Upshaw Suffers Preseason Injury, Out Indefinitely

  1. 4evrUKBlue
    11:26 am July 20, 2021 Permalink

    Seems like we can’t catch a break.

  2. Jyoung12
    11:35 am July 20, 2021 Permalink

    We have injuries to key players every year…

  3. BobbyBlue
    12:08 pm July 20, 2021 Permalink

    I suppose all D-1 schools have season ending injuries , but not every pre season like the Cats seem to have had over the last few seasons.

  4. Middy
    12:13 pm July 20, 2021 Permalink

    Hopefully indefinite doesn’t not turn out to be season ending and he can come back. This kid is has a chance to be a Gronk-like mega star if we can get him the ball. He’s a matchup nightmare. Hope he recovers soon!

  5. east-ky-boy
    12:14 pm July 20, 2021 Permalink

    Are we cursed or something?????

    • csnailnrun
      12:50 pm July 20, 2021 Permalink

      Unfortunately so 🙁
      If it’s loosing streaks to Florida and Puke Orange, it’s injury curses.

  6. BobbyBlue
    12:27 pm July 20, 2021 Permalink

    Just read that it is a torn pectoral muscle.
    No idea how long that takes to heal, but I suppose severity is what the timeline would be based on, and if s surgical procedure is required.

    • UKFanSC
      3:28 pm July 20, 2021 Permalink

      Eloy Jimenez of the White Sox had the same injury this baseball season…..4-6 months

  7. UKFanSC
    3:27 pm July 20, 2021 Permalink

    Damn it !!! Season ending. This is an NFL caliber player. Hope he heals quickly and can get back on the field next year.

  8. Bluenblood
    3:39 pm July 20, 2021 Permalink

    Pecs really bad esp for his position Ughhhhh

  9. Miller45
    7:31 pm July 20, 2021 Permalink

    Well this is horrible and sucks, I’m sick for him. Perhaps this is Joey’s best fit on the roster?

  10. runningunnin.454
    9:11 am July 21, 2021 Permalink

    Tough break for a great player…and for us. Appreciate Coach Stoops’ honesty; with the basketball team it would be “he’ll probably be out a couple of weeks”.