The injury that might have ended Cale Garrett’s senior season came as a surprise to most when announced Sunday night. The linebacker never was down on the turf on a specific play, nor was there any other indication that anything was wrong.
That’s because he played through it.
Garrett, who tore his left pectoral tendon in Missouri’s 42-10 win over Troy, had two interceptions in the game and returned one for a touchdown, all after the injury occurred. It happened on the first play of Troy’s third series, Garrett told the Missourian on Monday.
The play came with 3:27 left in the first quarter, right after MU had taken a 14-7 lead. Troy ran a jet sweep with slot receiver Kaylon Geiger in motion from right to left. Geiger crossed the middle of the field as the ball was snapped, receiving a flip from the quarterback in stride. Garrett eluded a blocker and dragged Geiger down by his jersey, rolling over while making the tackle for a 1-yard loss.
Cale Garrett says this is the play when he originally injured his left pectoral tendon, with 3:27 left in the first quarter. He ended up having three straight tackles on this series and he played the rest of the first half. Played through the injury for two INTs and a touchdown. pic.twitter.com/G5R12uJnGy— Bennett Durando (@BennettDurando) October 8, 2019
Troy ended up going three-and-out on the series, with Garrett making the tackles on all three plays. He was credited with a sack on the play after the injury for tagging the quarterback, Kaleb Barker, as he went out of bounds. On third down, Garrett recorded a tackle for a loss of five yards using the injured left arm, bringing Troy’s Trevon Woolfolk down by his legs after a catch in the backfield.
After that play, Garrett could be seen on the SEC Network + broadcast grimacing as he ran off the field surrounded by celebrating teammates. His left arm was kept at a right angle.
Monday, on former MU receiver T.J. Moe’s radio show “The HardLine,” Missouri coach Barry Odom said Garrett was playing with one arm for his final 10 to 15 snaps. Garrett’s first interception was awkwardly tipped and caught entirely with his right hand. He returned it to the 1-yard line before being tackled, and he was seen grimacing again on the sideline afterward.
As Garrett ran his second interception into the end zone for his third touchdown of the year, he held the ball straight over his head with the left arm. He appeared to be in less pain when shown on the sideline after the play.
Odom said on Moe’s show that Garrett will undergo surgery Tuesday morning. MU has not issued an official timetable on the injury yet, but Sunday it was deemed “indefinite.”