Several key players didn’t suit up Saturday for the Black and Gold Spring Game, but Missouri managed to escape the final official spring practice unscathed.
There was a scary moment when sophomore defensive end Walter Brady went down because of an apparent left knee injury while trying to tackle junior running back Ish Witter downfield on a swing pass.
Brady didn’t return, but apparently it wasn’t anything serious.
“He was out walking around afterwards,” first-year Tigers coach Barry Odom said. “I think he needed a break is what I really think, but I think he’s all right. (Mizzou head athletic trainer) Rex (Sharp) said at halftime that the initial evaluation looked pretty good in our favor.”
Two other starters saw limited action.
Senior wide receiver Chris Black, who’s been nursing an ankle injury throughout the spring, was deep to receive the opening kickoff, but he went unnoticed after that.
“He went one snap,” Odom said. “He’d had a left or right ankle (injury). I don’t remember which, but it didn’t feel as good as we were hoping today so he just shut it down.”
Senior tight end Sean Culkin also exited the scrimmage early, but his departure wasn’t injury-related.
“His progress over the last few days, he’s had enough spring ball reps, so we got him out pretty quick,” Odom said.
Defensive linemen Harold Brantley (academics), Charles Harris (shoulder surgery) and Nate Howard (knee surgery) sat out the spring game along with wide receiver Johnathon Johnson and offensive lineman Nate Crawford (back surgery).
Odom thanks fans
Not that spring game attendance matters much, but Missouri’s spring game outdrew LSU’s on Saturday.
Odom didn’t know that when he met with the media after the game, but he still made a point of thanking the fans.
The Tigers in Columbia announced that they had 24,473 in attendance at Memorial Stadium, while the Tigers in Baton Rouge announced a crowd of 21,000.
“They just did a great job of getting here and supporting our team,” Odom said of the fan turnout. “This program needs our fans. … I was excited walking out of the tunnel, and so were our players, looking over to the east side and seeing who was here. That was awesome.”