COLUMBIA, Mo. — The University of Missouri football team announced on Wednesday afternoon that wide receiver Nate Brown will miss six to eight weeks after suffering a high-ankle sprain in practice earlier in the week.
“That’s frustrating as a head coach,” Missouri coach Barry Odom said at the conclusion of Wednesday's practice. “You don’t want that ever to happen (in practice) but the promising side to that is we’ll get him back. Knowing Nate and his work ethic and the way that he and (head trainer) Rex (Sharp) will work together we anticipate him coming back and helping us this year.”
Odom said it’s possible Brown could have surgery to fix the ailment but if he were to have surgery or not the recovery time is about the same. The head coach also left open the possibility Brown could redshirt this season.
“Some of that will depend on what he wants to do and some of it will depend on where we’re with at depth (wise) at that particular point,” Odom said. “If he’s in a position that he can come back health-wise and help us win, if Nate wants to do it, then obviously I want guys to have the opportunity to do what they want to do.”
Brown, a junior, is one of Missouri’s returning starters on offense. He led the Tigers with four touchdown receptions a year ago and was second on the team in catches (27) and receiving yards (326).
“He was doing a real nice job,” MU receivers coach Andy Hill said of Brown. “Had a great scrimmage and was practicing consistently throughout the last, whatever it’s been, two weeks now. So like the last 10 days he’s been good. But at the same time other guys really have to step up.”
Hill pointed to several players as having to step up and produce with Brown out of action for up to two months.
“It’s going to be a group effort,” he said. “You have Eric Laurent, Keyon Dilosa, those guys have been kind of flipping around a little bit anyway. Dominic Collins is a new guy that has also filled a void. He’s been playing outside. Both are outside spots so you can flip back and forth, technically. So those three guys. Justin Smith is here. We get Emanuel Hall then we’re kind of back to full strength a little bit without Nate being there.”
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