Depth on Missouri defensive line helps compensate for sidelined player

Monday, September 5, 2011 | 10:11 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Missouri defensive end Jacquies Smith dislocated his elbow during Saturday’s game against Miami (Ohio). And that made defensive tackle Dominique Hamilton mad.

Hamilton said he was angry when Smith was being helped off the field. The first word out of his mouth, he said, was "damn."

But Hamilton was thankful upon finding out the diagnosis.

“Actually, I said ‘Thank God’ because I thought he was out for the season or something,” Hamilton said.

Tigers coach Gary Pinkel said Monday that Smith will miss Friday’s game and “maybe more.”

Hamilton spoke positively about those replacing Smith when the team visits Arizona State on Friday night.

“We’ve got depth, we’ve got guys that can play,” Hamilton said. “We’ve got guys that want to come in, who are hungry to play. So I feel like it’s going to be good.”

The player listed at the top of coach Gary Pinkel’s depth chart Monday was sophomore defensive end Brayden Burnett. He, along with teammates Michael Sam and Kony Ealy, filled in for Smith on Saturday. Burnett registered a sack on Miami (Ohio) quarterback Zac Dysert by stripping the football out of his hand. Hamilton recovered the fumble, giving possession back to the Tigers.

“It’s an honor,” Burnett said of being listed first on the depth chart. “It’s an honor because I know how many great people have come ahead of me in that position, so it’s a great honor.”

During Monday’s practice, Smith hovered around his defensive line teammates, watching them go through drills. His left arm was in a sling, and he was sipping Gatorade from a bottle he was holding with the other. He looked on from as close a distance as he could as Burnett and the others that will take over for him Friday rushed past a padded tackle dummy.

With Smith’s injury, the Tigers now will be without three of the five players named captain at the beginning of the season. Offensive lineman Elvis Fisher is out for the season, and wide receiver Jerrell Jackson is set to miss his second-straight game with a hamstring injury.

Linebacker Will Ebner, who also left Saturday’s game with an injury, is out for Friday’s game as well. Andrew Wilson will start at middle linebacker, and Luke Lambert will start as an outside linebacker against the Sun Devils.

Center Travis Ruth will miss his second-straight game, leaving the offensive line the same as it was on Saturday.

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