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Coffey likely out Saturday

MRI reveals no structural damage, but the senior receiver is still unlikely to play against New Mexico.
Wednesday, September 7, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:13 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Missouri football spokesman Chad Moller said late Tuesday evening that MRI results on wide receiver Sean Coffey’s shoulder were “favorable” and that there was no structural damage.

“We’re certainly treating that as good news,” Moller said.

Coffey, a senior from East Cleveland, Ohio, dislocated his shoulder in Missouri’s season-opening 44-17 win against Arkansas State on Saturday.

Coffey underwent an MRI on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Moller said there was no timetable for his return and that it was unlikely he would be able to play in the Tigers’ next game, at 6 p.m. Saturday against New Mexico.

Coffey attended the players’ interview session earlier this week with his left arm in a sling.

“It doesn’t feel as bad as it did right after it popped, but it’s still sore and I know it’s going to be sore for a while,” Coffey said.

Losing Coffey, even for a short period, could be a blow to an offense that appeared to be back on track after a dominating performance against Arkansas State. The Tigers rolled to 657 total yards (340 of which were in the air), their highest total since 1949, when they compiled 665 against Kansas. But those yards came against an overmatched Arkansas State team still reeling from the loss of five defensive starters, and this weekend’s game against New Mexico should be a tougher contest.

Coffey, who left the game with 11:28 remaining in the second quarter, caught four passes for 82 yards, although two receptions resulted in fumbles.

“It’s frustrating,” Coffey said Monday. “And Sunday was pretty hard. But now I’m just dealing with it, and I’ll try to face whatever it is I’ve got to face”

If Coffey does indeed miss significant time, Missouri’s other receivers will have to fill a large hole in the team’s offense. Coffey was the Tigers’ top receiver in 2004, catching 39 passes for 648 yards on his way to honorable mention All-Big 12 honors. His 10 touchdown receptions also set a school record.

Still, Missouri receivers on Monday expressed confidence in their ability to step in and fill the void if necessary.

“That’s what I did during the game,” said redshirt junior Brad Ekwerekwu, who spent much of Saturday’s game in Coffey’s X-receiver slot. “We’ve got a lot of guys that can kind of step in; those spots are kind of interchangeable, so it’s really easy for us to get into the game plan. As long as we know the plays, any of us can play any spot.”

If there is a silver lining to Saturday’s developments, it was the large number of receivers who had passes thrown their way in Coffey’s absence. Ten different Tigers had receptions against Arkansas State, and eight players finished with two receptions or more. Sophomore William Franklin had eight catches for 116 yards and a touchdown.

“There’s a lot of things we can do in our system as far as moving different people around,” said Pinkel. “You can play with two tight ends, you could move a running back out there. The way we’re doing our system now, there’s a lot of combinations we can do if we choose to. But you have to step up. That’s just the way it is, I don’t care if it’s Sean Coffey or any other player. We’ll just slide the guy off and move somebody up and somebody’s got to play well.”

BACON SUSPENDED: Missouri starting linebacker Marcus Bacon has been suspended from the team after being arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Moller said Tuesday that the suspension is indefinite and that there is not yet a timetable for Bacon’s return.

Bacon was Missouri’s leading tackler against Arkansas State, finishing with nine tackles, including a sack and a half.

Missourian reporter Zach Ewing contributed to this story


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