Columbia — Redshirt freshman receiver Wes Leftwich has been diagnosed with a Jones Fracture in his right foot, team spokesman Chad Moller said Wednesday.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
Leftwich, who suffered the injury in Tuesday's practice, is expected to miss the next 4-5 weeks. The Columbia Hickman grad - who entered the fall behind Marcus Lucas and Rolandis Woodland at the "X" receiver position - is dealing with the same injury that befell starting tackle Justin Britt, who missed a significant portion of camp before returning to action late last week.
"It's almost the complete parallel to Justin Britt's," Pinkel said. "The good news is you can get back in a couple weeks, but it's tough because a lot of competition (is going) on. (But) if you're going to get a broken foot, that's the one you (want to) get."
*After a full padded practice Tuesday, players wore helmets and shoulder pads Wednesday. Pinkel said he wanted to hold a light, quick practice so players could get their legs back for the final scrimmage of fall camp, which will be held Thursday.
"The ones will play a full quarter, like a normal football game, against the twos and threes," Pinkel said. "And then we'll have it organized by how many plays we want each player to get after that."
Pinkel noted that there are a number of position battles still being waged.
"Who's going to be the fifth guard? Who's going to be the fifth defensive end? There's a lot of things out there," Pinkel said. "It's all good though. It's good we have competition like this."
*One other interesting thing that came out of Pinkel's post-practice media session: for the first time all camp, he kinda/sorta put a number on how many true freshmen he expects to play this year.
"We're probably going to have four or five - or maybe more, maybe one less, I'm not sure - freshmen play," Pinkel said.
OK, this is just my opinion, so don't hold it against me if it doesn't come to fruition. But at this point, based on what we've seen in practice, I think WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Evan Boehm, Sean Culkin, Russell Hansbrough and Harold Brantley are the favorites to play. All five have consistently earned reps with the second team (or better) during camp, and shown the physical maturity to hang with the big boys. Culkin looked great before a broken finger sidelined him a little over a week ago.
I also think the coaches have been taking a hard look at linebacker Michael Scherer - who has consistently earned reps with the second team in starter Will Ebner's recent injury absence - receiver Levi Copelin, tight end Brandon Holifield, running back Morgan Steward, quarterback Maty Mauk and cornerback John Gibson throughout camp. I realized I just named virtually all the freshmen - and hey, that doesn't mean the staff isn't high on the ones I didn't list - but these are the guys that have taken some second-team reps every now and then. It's definitely worth noting.
Defensive tackle Evan Winston and receiver Jimmie Hunt shed their red jerseys and participated in drills. Ebner, Culkin, defensive tackle Matt Hoch, defensive tackle Lucas Vincent, receiver L'Damian Washington and cornerback Kip Edwards have yet to shed theirs.
Missouri holds its final scrimmage of the spring Thursday afternoon. I'll have news and notes from that, plus a story for Friday's Star. My previously promised feature on Max Copeland is being held for a later date; I'll give you guys a heads up when I know it will run.