Kentucky football player gets to play after suspension


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LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY – SEPTEMBER 04: Chris Rodriguez Jr. #24 of the Kentucky Wildcats runs with the ball against the ULM War Hawks at Kroger Field on September 04, 2021 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Manuela Trujillo, Staff Writer

Chris Rodriguez was facing suspension for his game after he was arrested for a DUI. During the summer in May, the player was pulled over for a DUI. He is a current football player for the Kentucky Wildcats team. Coach Mark Stoops had to do the right thing and put him on suspension for more than two games. If their coach didn’t put him on suspension it wouldn’t have been fair to other players if they were to do something similar to that. 

As Chris Rodriguez was put out for a couple of games, it didn’t affect the team as they won their fourth game over the weekend. However, he plays as a running back for Kentucky. Chris will be able to play this upcoming weekend against Ole Miss. This will be his first game he plays in for the season.  Stoops is expecting him to take on the field this weekend with Kentucky ranked seventh and Ole Miss ranked fourteenth. Chris is one of the two starter options for running back, as his teammate Kavosiey Smoke started during Chris’s absence. 

Chris worked on Kentucky’s scout team for much of the early season, but has taken first and second team reps as he is returning soon to continue playing for the rest of the season. As he was on suspension Stoops let him practice for the games, although he was put out for the first four games. 

With that being said, most of those reps were with the second team. Chris has rushed  2,739 yards since he has been at UK, he also rushed 1,378 yards last season. In his 32 career games he has 27 touchdowns and has an average of 6.6 yards per carry. UK’s offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello said Chris Rodriguez was “arguably as good as any back in the SEC”. This was said after the Wildcats won against Northern Illinois and with Chris returning it is significant to them as they have been struggling during his absence.