The Missouri Tigers practiced in full pads this morning on Faurot Field. Although there are several new injured players wearing various red jerseys, the Tigers should get almost all of the injured players back well before the conference season.
Of course, Jerrell Jackson was wearing a cast on his left wrist. He suffered a broken bone in his wrist, and it is estimated that he will be able to return in 4-6 weeks. L'Damian Washington also wore a red jersey, and received treatment for what Coach Pinkel called a "bruised thigh". Aldon Smith sat out drills today in a red pull-over with a "hip pointer". Will Ebner (hamstring) wore a red pull-over, and sat out all drills. Jarrell Harrison is scheduled for a knee arthroscope on Friday to repair a torn meniscus, and he is expected to miss about three weeks.
De'Vion Moore and Luke Lambert have returned to full participation.
There appears to be movement within the depth chart up front. All four freshmen offensive linemen are now lining up with the number three unit, Nick Demien at right guard, Chris Freeman at left guard, and Mitch Morse and Anthony Gatti at right and left tackle respectively. Of course, some of the wide receivers have moved up in the absence of Jackson and Washington.
Coach Pinkel talked about the injuries and his plans regarding the depth chart at receiver.
"What we're going to do is we're going to keep everybody where they are until Saturday," explained coach Pinkel.
Coach Pinkel explained that after Saturday, the staff will discuss where to place guys among the three receiver positions. He reminded everyone that the three best guys will start, regardless of position, and then the next three guys will constitute the second unit, and so on.
Jimmie Hunt and E.J. Gaines were returning punts, along with Kip Edwards and T.J. Moe. Marcus Murphy and Henry Josey were returning kick-offs. Murphy has been returning punts, as well, and appears to be very capable in the returner role. Murphy has really looked good this week, and appears to be separating himself from the other freshmen tailbacks. JP and I were talking about Murphy. In addition to his excellent receiving skills, he shows real good field vision, and reads and follows his blocking very well. He has the ability to change lanes without slowing down, or even using a turn signal.
Hunt and Gaines have also moved to the fore among the talented freshmen at each of their respective positions.
During the 9-on-9 goal line segment, De'Vion Moore took it around the left side, then cut it back inside to the goal line, where he was stripped of the ball. Kendial Lawrence took an inside hand-off from Blaine Gabbert, and pounded it up inside for a short gain. Marcus Murphy got the edge and the pylon. Lawrence cut up inside, then danced his way down near the goal line. Henry Josey took a hand-off from James Franklin and started outside, then cut back inside and ended up back outside near the left pylon. Nikko Sansone took an inside hand-off from Tyler Gabbert and cut it up inside, where he was stuffed by Jeff Gettys and Josh Tatum.
During passing drills, E.J. Gaines and Kevin Rutland each maintained excellent position in coverage down the sideline on successive plays, locating and knocking the ball away.
In 9-on-9 action coming out of the end zone, the offense had several successive positive plays. De'Vion Moore took an inside hand-off from Blaine, and took it around the right side for a nice gain. Then, Franklin ran a keeper around the left side for a first down.
During 7-on-7 action, Blaine hit T.J. Moe sitting down near the right hash. Blaine found Moe down near the left seam, and Moe quickly turned it up for a big gain. Jasper Simmons had a nice pass break-up of a Blaine Gabbert pass intended for Moe, who was running down the left sideline near the goal line. Blaine found Moore on a delayed swing pass out along the sideline for a first down.
Greg White took a swing pass out on the right side from Tyler Gabbert and turned it up for a nice gain. Tyler got the ball out quickly to Jimmie Hunt in the left seam area. Hunt turned it up for a score. Later, Tyler faked a pitch, then stood up and threw one down the right sideline, intended for Marcus Lucas. Trey Hobson stayed home and went up for the interception.
Jimmy Costello hit Jaleel Clark over the middle down near the goal line. Clark turned it up, but was denied the score by Kenronte Walker. I thought Clark went down a little too easily on that one. Costello squeezed on in low and away that Kerwin Stricker went down to corral.
During kick-off returns, Wes Kemp started a return, but was quickly met by Daniel Easterly, who was streaking down field. Easterly might have to play on coverage teams. He looks real good on those. Munir Prince showed some speed on a return up the right side.
Josh Tatum came across the line of scrimmage and stopped Moore, who had started around the left side after taking a pitch from Franklin.
Marcus Murphy got some snaps with the first unit.
During 11-on-11, Derrick Washington took a hand-off and went around the right side for a nice gain. Blaine Gabbert found Michael Egnew out in the right flat for a short gain. Rolandis Woodland took a quick pass from Blaine and followed Moe's lead block, taking it up the right sideline. Kerwin Stricker hauled in a swing pass from Blaine out in the left seam area and turned it up for a nice gain. Later, Blaine found Michael Egnew on a slip screen for a nice gain. That one reminded me of Danario Rucker. Woodland dropped Blaine's pass out near the left sideline. Elvis Fisher could be heard all over the field telling Woodland to "catch the ball". Later, Derrick Washington scored on a running play that went around the left side. The offensive line cleared a path, and escorted Derrick into the secondary.
Franklin found Stricker over the middle, and Kerwin turned it up for a nice gain. Franklin came right back to Stricker, who made a nice catch in traffic on a crossing route. Easterly was in close coverage, but Stricker made the play. Kendial Lawrence took a hand-off from Franklin and took it up the gut for a real nice gain. After Michael Sam pressured Franklin into a throw away, Lawrence took a pitch from Franklin around the left side for a first down.
Marcus Murphy took a screen pass in the left seam area from Ashton Glaser, and following his blockers, took it up for a first down.