The Missouri Tigers are 2-3. They just lost by five touchdowns — 42-7 — to an LSU team in its first week under an interim head coach. They’re banged up.
The bye week couldn’t come at a better time. So says head coach Barry Odom.
“We’ll be a better team coming out of our bye week,” Odom said on Wednesday’s SEC conference call.
“We’re using it very wisely and I’m thankful it happened when it has,” he continued. “We needed to get some guys healthy where they haven’t been the last few weeks.”
That list includes a pair of receivers — redshirt freshman Jonathan Johnson and junior Nate Brown — one, Brown, who’s been out all season and the other, Johnson, who just tweaked a high ankle sprain that he had offseason surgery on.
Odom said Johnson reinjured the ankle on his last kickoff return against LSU but that he’s “bouncing around fine this week.” Still, the Tigers will limit his snaps in practices in their week off.
Brown, too, dealt with a high ankle sprain but only in August, which was expected to sideline him for six to eight weeks. Odom, at the time, expected Brown to return this season. The timetable lined up with around the beginning of October — where we are now. Yet, Odom said Brown has “made great progress” and is ahead of schedule.
He’s begun running, but only in straight lines — no cuts or turns, which would really test the ankle. After seeing him run, Odom doesn’t expect to get Brown back for the Tigers’ game at No. 18 Florida the week following the bye.
Linebacker Donavin Newsom, who was the victim of the targeting penalty that got LSU safety Xavier Lewis ejected, underwent concussion protocol, which kept him out of the second half. But he has been cleared and returned to practice.