The Maneater

Mizzou Camp: Floyd’s injury forces return game shake-up; Crockett hopes to return stronger after shoulder injury

With 16 days until the Tigers’ opening matchup with UT Martin, the team has lost a second-team All-American to injury in Floyd.

Sophomore running back Larry Rountree III stretches out before a fall camp practice at the Missouri Athletics Training Center on August 13, 2018.

Soon after Thursday’s practice, Missouri football coach Barry Odom addressed the state of redshirt junior receiver Richaud Floyd with media, saying he suffered a “lower leg, non-weight bearing bone injury” on Wednesday.

According to Odom, the team expects Floyd back “fairly soon,” but the timetable for that return appears to be somewhere within the four to six week range. At that rate, Floyd could be back as early as the Tigers week three matchup with Purdue, but as late as their week five game at South Carolina.

Odom sounded confident that Floyd, who was named a CBS Sports second team All-American Thursday morning, will have a suitable replacement in the return game, although he doesn’t know exactly who yet.

“I’m trying to buy myself some time today because I don’t know [who will replace Floyd],” Odom said. “Jalen Knox is a guy that’s really impressed us at that spot, and [Dominic] Gicinto. Both of those guys in the punt return will give us an opportunity there.”

Knox and Gicinto are both true freshmen, but another name to keep an eye on that Odom mentioned is junior receiver Johnathon Johnson, who returned kicks his freshman year.

“Johnathon Johnson has been getting reps everyday at each practice and he’s got some experience with it so we’re going to be alright,” Odom said.

Johnson returned 10 kicks for 171 yards his freshman season.

Johnson said Knox and Gicinto are both going to be “special” return men and that he’d split reps with them as return men if that’s what is needed.

“Whatever’s best for the team,” Johnson said. “I’m all for it.”

Crockett back with Rountree sharing load

Coming back from a season in which he was out for seven games due to a shoulder injury, junior Damarea Crockett looks poised to return to 2017’s early-season form.

“It [went] extremely well,” Crockett said of his shoulder. “Like in the spring, it was extremely cold and I would have days where my shoulder would just be hurting so bad I felt like I couldn’t even lift it. Now in summer … it’s like I’m back to normal.”

Crockett was looking to record his second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season in 2017 until he injured his shoulder on the road against Georgia. He finished the year with 481 yards on 80 carries.

Crockett said a lot hasn’t changed much about his game, other than adding some weight to what was already a 220-pound frame.

“I feel like I’ve gained a lot more weight than last year,” Crockett said. “Like when I’m hitting the hole, you can definitely feel it.”

Crockett sat anywhere between 219 and 223 pounds last season, but says he’s been sitting at about 226 to 227 pounds in camp.

Sophomore Larry Rountree III, who’s listed at 210 pounds, will currently be a co-starter alongside Crockett. He said it doesn’t matter to him who takes the first snap of the year against UT Martin.

“Everybody going to eat, regardless,” Rountree said.

Injuries and updates

As for other injuries, junior Oregon transfer Khalil Oliver was limited Thursday with a bruised leg and redshirt freshman tight end Logan Christopherson was out with a concussion he suffered a couple of days ago. According to Odom, Christopherson is going through concussion protocol.

Senior linebacker Terez Hall is still out with a hamstring injury. Odom said he’s going through individual workouts after practices with a trainer.

Odom mentioned freshman Nick Bolton as a potential name to help fill the void potentially left by Hall.

“Bolton has really come on and made so many strides in the last four to five days,” Odom said. “Physically, he’s going to be in a position to help us.”

Edited by Bennett Durando | bdurando@themaneater.com

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