Missouri’s Harold Brantley won’t play a down this season, but that doesn’t mean he won’t impact the Tigers.
Let coach Gary Pinkel explain.
“We always like any player that’s injured to be part of the team, so he his responsibility is to be here,” Pinkel said. “You get treatment and everything else, but he’s been great. His leadership skills have been so great.”
Of course, those skills be sorely missed come Saturdays in the fall.
“That’s part of the frustration of him getting hurt, because he had been doing so remarkably well,” Pinkel said. “But the good news is, he’s going to be 100 percent and it’s great to have him out here and be part of that.”
Brantley, a junior defensive tackle, suffered a broken left tibia, ligament damage in his left knee, several broken ribs and a small crack in his scapula during a June 21 car wreck in Columbia.
He’s been spotted at practice this week getting around on a golf cart.
Teammates say Brantley is high spirits a few months into his recovery.
“Harold is never going to change, regardless of the situation,” freshman defensive end Walter Brady said. “I bet Harold could be on fire right now, and he’s still going to be the motivational guy that he is, trying to run around here and do what he does. I don’t think much has changed. He’s still happy and he’s still our leader.”
Brantley was a revelation in 2014, finishing tied for seventh on MU with 54 tackles, including five sacks and seven for a loss. He also had seven hurries, two blocked kicks, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
Missouri senior free safety Ian Simon sat out Saturday’s practice with a hamstring injury.
Simon recorded 54 tackles with one interceptions and three passes breakups last season.
Pinkel said he isn’t worried about Simon’s injury being a long-term issue.
“It’s just a tweak,” Pinkel said.
Two Tigers lineman, sophomore right tackle Nate Crawford (back) and redshirt freshman Andy Bauer (hip), also sat out the fall camp’s third practice. Crawford is day-to-day and could return Sunday for the first practice in full pads.
Walk-on offensive lineman Nick Skalak (sprained left knee) and Jonah Dubinski (headache) also missed practice.
Junior running back Morgan Steward (hip) remained a limited participant in practice, but he continues to make progress after hip surgery last November.