Kentucky had its best football season to date under Mark Stoops in 2016.
While the TaxSlayer Bowl didn’t go the way the Wildcats had hoped, it was the first bowl appearance in Stoops’ four seasons at Kentucky and saw twice as many conference wins as any of Stoops’ other seasons.
But one of the more negative aspects of the season was the unexpected loss of freshman tight end Justin Rigg, who made his way early into the tight end rotation despite the return of C.J. Conrad and Greg Hart. Rigg went down during the third week of the season with what the school deemed a “rib injury” and never played another down.
According to a report from Justin Rowland of Cats Illustrated, Riggs actually sustained three lacerations to his kidney and was deemed out for six to eight weeks, ending his season regular season. Although he had fully recovered and was able to practice with the team before the TaxSlayer Bowl, Rigg did not see any action. Now, Rowland writes, Kentucky will seek a medical redshirt to try to garner another year of eligibility for their young tight end.
This could end up being a net positive for the Wildcats. Tight end was already a position of strength and both Conrad and Hart returning for their junior and senior seasons, respectively. The redshirt would buy Stoops another year of comfort at the tight end position once the two incumbents move on.