Scroll down and you’ll notice a variation of that question pops up in a number of pieces pecked out by scribes patrolling the practice fields in Columbia.
And even if fall camp is a time where (guarded) optimism usually pervades coverage, it’s a topic well worth exploring.
Nagging injuries dogged Emmanuel Hall throughout his career in Columbia, robbing him of four games last season. Meanwhile, Albert Okwuegbunam, who lost four games to a shoulder injury in 2018, frayed nerves when he went down with a knee sprain in practice last week. Had the junior tight end been sidelined for an extended period of time, quarterback Kelly Bryant’s list of proven targets would have been murky.
On paper, coach Barry Odom brings back roughly two-thirds of production at wide receiver and tight end, while the average yards per catch among that group (12.17) is equivalent to last season. In theory, Okwuegbunam’s decision to return and Johnathon Johnson’s presence assured a modicum of stability at both positions.
But what if both are hobbled? The Tigers’ next leading receiver is Jalen Knox (27 catches, 419 yards and 3 TDs), followed by fellow sophomore Dominic Gicinto, who hauled in 15 catches for 171 yards. Put another way, catastrophic injury luck quickly saps half of that returning output and could leave Odom and offensive coordinator Derek Dooley casting about for alternatives.
Knox, Jonathan Nance, and Kam Scott are the likeliest contenders on the outside, but will a clear pecking order emerge? And where does Oregon transfer Alex Ofodile end up when all the sorting is done?
In the end, I doubt many MU fans want to see a stress test play out in the particular region of the depth chart.
Yesterday at Rock M
- Defensive tackle Montra Edwards committed to Mizzou
- Nate Edwards’ rolling series of opponent previews reached South Carolina
- Albert O has an opportunity to go down as an all-timer — if he can stay healthy
- A new episode of The Fifth Down is available for your listening pleasure.
- Sam Snelling previewed Xavier, which figures to be a stout road test in hoops
- The Clarion-Ledger caught up with new Mizzou commit Montra Edwards.
- Subscribers at Power Mizzou can also get an initial scouting report on Edwards.
- The Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter filed his notebook of tidbits from Mizzou’s fall camp, delving into end-game situations, the ascent of freshman Maurice Massey and an ongoing position battle at strong safety.
- Mitchell Forde of PowerMizzou also churned out a notebook from practice.
- Alex Schiffer of The Kansas City Star explored the search for reliable targets at wide receiver.
- Bennett Durando of the Missourian poses another pass-catching hypothetical: What fallback plans exist at tight end?
- Is sophomore Chris Turner the next product to roll off Mizzou’s assembly line at defensive end?
- Women’s soccer landed at 10th in the SEC preseason poll.
- High-jumper Roberto Vilches snagged a bronze medal at the Pan American Games.