Starting offensive tackle Justin Britt suffered a Jones Fracture in his foot during three-cone testing a few weeks ago. He's already had surgery on the foot, and is expected to be ready by the Sept. 1 season opener.
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said Missouri has had a number of players come down with that injury over the years, and he described it as being similar to a stress fracture on the outside bone of the foot.
“Dan Hoch, I think, had it three weeks before a bowl game,” Pinkel said. “And Ziggy Hood, I think, played 2 ½ weeks after he had his surgery. So I think we’re going to get (Britt) back (quickly) and that’s a plus.”
Redshirt freshman Taylor Chappell, who earned several first-team reps in the spring while starting left tackle Elvis Fisher continued to rehab from a knee injury, is listed as Britt’s backup on Missouri's most recent depth chart.
Senior receiver T.J. Moe - who was recently named to the watch list for the Hornung Award, which is given to the most versatile player in college football - was wearing a red non-contact jersey due to a strained hamstring he says he suffered five weeks ago.
Freshman running back Russell Hansbrough was also wearing a red jersey due to a sprained ankle. Both Hansbrough and Moe still participated in drills Thursday, and Pinkel noted how much his team's luck has seemed to change after an injury-filled spring that he said was the worst of his coaching career.
“Thank heavens there’s a lot less red (right now),” Pinkel said with a laugh.
Another player wearing red Thursday was junior running back Henry Josey, a budding star who continues to make his way back from a devastating knee injury last November.
"He’s such a great kid, and it’s so neat to see him out here," Pinkel said. "He’s always had a great attitude, that’s why he’s going to come back to us."
However, it seems likely Josey won't see the field until 2013.
“I would suggest that its going to be difficult, in terms of just timing," Pinkel said, when asked if Josey might play this year. "The most important thing is that he’s healed and ready to go. That’s the most important thing because he’s got two years left.”
Offensive guard Mark Hill is not playing football this year. He had problems with blood clots and needed surgery to remove a rib. Team spokesman Chad Moller said his problems were similar to the ones former linebacker Andrew Gachkar dealt with, and while Gachkar eventually returned to action, Hill had a setback after spring ball and decided to call it quits.
Moller also confirmed that senior defensive tackle George White has also left the team. White appeared in six games during his Missouri career.
*Missouri was not ranked in the initial USA Today Coaches Poll, which was released Thursday. However, the Tigers - who received three votes - were one of 11 SEC teams to receive votes. Seven SEC teams are ranked in the poll.
*In what is surely a nod to the fact Missouri is entering its first year in the SEC, several staffers wore t-shirts with the SEC logo and the word "RESPECT" in bold letters across the back on Thursday.
There was also a large black sign near the players' entrance to the practice field that read: S.W.AG. - Sacrifice Will Achieve Greatness. Senior cornerback Kip Edwards indicated in the spring that the current senior class gathered together after last season and helped choose the motto.
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