The Missouri Tigers have been dealing with injuries throughout training camp, which isn’t anything unusual at this time of the year, but had some key players missing practice on Friday.
Culkin has missed a few practices with a sprained left knee. Newsom was out of action while going through the team’s concussion protocol.
Freshman running back Damarea Crockett, one of the team’s most impressive newcomers throughout camp, did not practice because of a sprained right shoulder and will not participate in the Tigers’ scrimmage on Saturday night.
“If we were playing tomorrow he would play,” Missouri coach Barry Odom told reporters following Friday’s practice. “I’m trying to get the balance there that he needs a lot of work. He’s also a guy that can help us and is going to help us Week 1.”
Freshman linebacker Trey Baldwin was out, like Newsom, because he was going through the concussion protocol. This is the second time in camp the newcomer from Texas has been out of action because of a concussion.
JUSTIN SMITH TALKS TO TEAM
Odom has brought in different people to speak to the team throughout training camp and on Thursday the Tigers heard from former Tiger and NFL standout defensive lineman Justin Smith.
Smith and Odom were teammates in the late 1990s. Smith was a first-round pick, played 14 years in the NFL and was a five-time Pro Bowl selection.
“He’s such an awesome competitor and a Missouri Tiger,” Odom said. “… He did a great job as Justin only can do on talking about trying to outwork your opponent and about really playing tough and physical and not leaving anything to chance and busting your ass and all the things that make Justin Smith, Justin Smith. There’s not a lot of gray area with him. He called a couple guys out in the crowd and it was awesome.”
Earlier on Friday, Missouri senior middle linebacker Michael Scherer spoke about what he took away from Smith’s speech.
“I’ve heard stories for a long time about how hard he worked, how crazy he was on the field and off the field and that’s just kind of his mentality he preached to us,” Scherer said. “You’re here to play football. You have a job to do and you should spend every second of your life trying to get better at football. He was always in the weight room. … He just kind of preached to all of us the mentality you have to have to be great like he is.”
NATE BROWN HAS SURGERY
Junior wide receiver Nate Brown, who suffered a high ankle sprain on Monday, had surgery on his ankle this week.
The school announced on Wednesday that Brown would likely be out six to eight weeks. Odom said following Friday’s practice that the wide receiver could be back sooner than that now.
“They feel like after the procedure was over, maybe the timeline could be sped up a little bit," Odom said. “That’s good news.”
Brown was one of the Tigers’ top two leading receivers in 2015, along with J'Mon Moore, with 27 receptions for 326 yards and four touchdowns.
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