2013 Mizzou spring football: Murphy avoids serious injury, the lines take shape

It's news when a Mizzou football player AVOIDS serious injury. - Bill Carter

Despite a nagging injury for surging Connor McGovern, the lines are beginning to take shape for Mizzou. And it's BIG NEWS when a Missouri running back avoids a rather serious shoulder injury!

The Trib (Dave Matter): Tigers survive injury scare in backfield

• The Tigers dodged a bullet in the backfield, too. Junior tailback and All-American return specialist Marcus Murphy suffered what Pinkel described as a bruised shoulder on Tuesday. The team initially feared it was more extensive damage to his labrum. Murphy underwent season-ending labrum surgery shortly before the 2011 season. "We thought it was the labrun he had repaired two years ago," Pinkel said. "So his body language wasn’t very good. That's understanding. That's scary." Pinkel said Murphy underwent testing with team surgeon Pat Smith, and the injury was ruled a bruise. Pinkel was unsure if Murphy would play on Saturday.

• Junior slot receiver Jimmie Hunt has been out of action the last two practices with a high ankle sprain. He's not expected to take part in Saturday's spring finale, Pinkel said. "He's done a lot of great things. And it's too bad he didn't finish," Pinkel said. "But you get him healthy, get him back ready to go. Jimmie was having a great spring. But things happen."

PowerMizzou: April 16 Practice Notes

*Everyone knows the offensive and defensive lines are the make or break spots for Mizzou. Here is how both of those look as of today.

Offensive Line (L to R)

1st team: Justin Britt, Mitch Hall, Evan Boehm, Max Copeland, Mitch Morse
2nd team: Anthony Gatti, Stephen Carberry, Brad McNulty, Jordan Williams, Taylor Chappell

Obviously, [Connor] McGovern would fit in here somewhere, but has the injury. Notable (to me anyway, and judging by past conversations, it will be notable to many on this board) that Chris Freeman and Nick Demien still appear to be running third-string.

Defensive Line (L to R)

1st Team: Michael Sam, Matt Hoch, Lucas Vincent, Kony Ealy
2nd Team: Brayden Burnett, Marvin Foster, Harold Brantley, Shane Ray
3rd Team: Rickey Hatley, Evan Winston, David Butler, Markus Golden

Personally, I don't expect Golden to remain third team by any means. The kid just flat looks the part.

PowerMizzou: Stay fresh, stay clean

That set-up seems opportune for a group of running backs that each carries its own set of baggage. For [Marcus] Murphy, it's his role as a returner. For [Russell] Hansbrough, it's his status as a somewhat unproven rising sophomore, who had moments as a freshman but is still working on that next leap. And for [Henry] Josey, it's the recovery from intensive knee surgery.

But as a group, that baggage is mitigated -- think of Captain Planet:

With these powers combined…

"I think it's a good idea," Murphy said. "We always have fresh legs on the field. We're not ever really tired. We always have a fresh body ready to go in and execute the play."

"It'll keep us from not being hurt," Hansbrough said. "We'll all be fresh in the game and always keep the tempo up.

Stay fresh, stay clean. That's the motto for Missouri's running backs this fall. But even with a plethora of scholarship backs -- five, to be exact -- there are still problems. Now, Greg White and Morgan Steward are making a name for themselves with the lower offensive units. How much longer can they stay there and not take reps with the first and second teams, therefore taking opportunities away from Murphy, Hansbrough and Josey?

Mizzou Football: Coach Craig Kuligowski

Hopefully Murphy's (non)-injury scare is proof that the "This Year Sucks" meme ends when the 2012-13 athletics season ends. Hopefully. Though we did almost have ourselves a hell of a PowerMizzou Jinx there ... PM writes a nice story about all the options Mizzou has at running back, and Mizzou almost instantaneously loses an option at running back...

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