Saturday night’s Shasta College football game was filled with extra emotion. The team and the crowd paid tribute to a teammate who couldn’t be on the field because he’s in the hospital.
Tyler Burton, 21, suffered brain injuries after he was assaulted in Chico two weeks ago. Burton is in intensive care at Enloe Medical Center in Chico.
Tyler’s father Roger Burton attended Saturday’s game, wearing his son’s number 44 jersey which was signed by all of Tyler’s teammates.
Roger Burton said he remains optimistic, having just come from his son’s hospital room before coming to the game.
“This morning was the first morning he opened his eyes,” said Roger Burton. “He can’t see obviously, but he opened his eyes fully wide opened. And he grabbed my hand. I told him ‘T.K., grab it harder. Squeeze it,’ because I wasn’t sure. And he squeezed it.”
“He’s not supposed to do be doing these things, according to the doc. But he’s doing them. I just believe that he’s going to come out of this thing. He may not be 100 percent, but we don’t care. I promised him I’d carry him if he just pulled out of this thing and just came back”
Tyler’s friends have organized a Facebook group called “Praying for Tyler Burton.” The Burtons live in Washington State. Tyler was living in Redding while attending Shasta College and playing football at the school.