Missouri football could be without several key players on the road against Vanderbilt on Saturday.
The team released an injury report Thursday afternoon with 11 names on it. Defensive backs Kris Abrams-Draine and Allie Green IV, center Michael Maietti, defensive lineman Akial Byers and wide receiver Barrett Banister are all questionable. Defensive backs Ish Burdine and Shawn Robinson, defensive lineman Johnny Walker Jr. and wide receiver Chance Luper are all doubtful.
Though their loss makes less of an impact, wide receiver Mookie Cooper and defensive back Devyn Butler are both out. No further information was provided on any of the injuries.
The Tigers were already without significant contributors in right guard Case Cook and defensive end Chris Turner, who were declared out for the season with injuries last week. Cornerback Ennis Rakestraw Jr. suffered an ACL tear earlier in the year.
The defensive backs room takes a big hit in this week’s report. Abrams-Draine, Green and Robinson have all played at least 225 snaps this season while Burdine took 124, according to Pro Football Focus.
Abrams-Draine has been one of the biggest playmakers for the defense this year, with two interceptions, four pass breakups and one fumble recovery, in addition to 17 total tackles. He has also contributed on kick returns. Robinson has recorded an interception, pass breakup and sack, along with 23 total tackles. Green has produced three pass breakups and 17 total tackles.
Losing Cook left the team and offensive line without one of its best leaders. Maeitti is also one of the top guys on the offensive line, and if he is out as well, that unit could be severely affected, leading to more pressure on quarterback Connor Bazelak as well as possible trouble with snaps.
The other side of the trenches relies heavily on Byers, who has played 257 snaps this season, according to Pro Football Focus. His PFF defensive grade of 75.1 is the second-highest of any player on that side of the ball and he has nine solo tackles.
Walker has played 110 snaps this season. He had sacks against Southeast Missouri State and North Texas.
At wide receiver, Luper has recorded 21 receptions, the fourth-most of anyone on the roster, for 203 yards and a touchdown. Banister had 11 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.
We’ll have to wait until Saturday to see who will be taking the field and who won’t. The Tigers will face a big challenge if even a portion of these players doesn’t suit up. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. Central time at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville.