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Barry Odom confirms: Missouri’s Michael Scherer and Terry Beckner Jr. have torn ACLs

NCAA Football: Missouri at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday evening, Missouri head coach Barry Odom confirmed what had been suspected since the Tigers’ frustrating loss to Middle Tennessee: Linebacker Michael Scherer and defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. each tore their ACLs. Scherer tore his MCL as well.

The Missouri defense has been a massive disappointment in 2016, but Scherer was a bright spot. He had recorded 39.0 tackles (25 solo, 28 assisted), 3.5 tackles for loss, half a sack, an interception, and two pass breakups. His recent move to weakside linebacker appeared to create a bit more of a play-making presence for Mizzou. He was hurt very early in the MTSU game, and it was assumed at the time that the injury was a season- and career-ender.

The middle of the season can be the cruelest. Unless a senior gets hurt within the first few games of the season (and has his Ts crossed and Is dotted), any play can be the last of his career. Scherer went from bright spot to tragic figure in an instant.

Beckner, meanwhile, had only recently begun to show flashes of his freshman form. His 2015 season ended three games early when he tore up his knee in the win over BYU. Even while working his way back into top form, he was the Mizzou defensive line’s leading tackler with 20.0 (16 solo, eight assists), two for a loss. This means the former blue-chipper will have ended up missing about one-third of his first two seasons in uniform to knee injuries.

Missouri v LSU
Terry Beckner Jr.
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

This confirmation means more opportunities for linebackers like Joey Burkett, Brandon Lee, Eric Beisel, and Trey Baldwin and a potential spot for freshman Markell Utsey in the rotation at tackle.

I guess the only good news is that starting cornerback John Gibson, who also left the MTSU game with a knee injury, didn’t tear anything. He practiced with the team today.