COLUMBIA — It's good news for Kelly Bryant's left knee, but bad news for the Missouri defense.
Missouri football released an injury update late Sunday night. Bryant, who left just before halftime of Saturday's 42-10 win against Troy after he fell back awkwardly on a late tackle, has a left knee sprain, according to a team spokesperson, and is "expected to have full activity this week."
But the Tigers may have lost middle linebacker Cale Garrett for the season with a pectoral tendon injury. He is having surgery and is out "indefinitely." It's a huge blow to a defense that has come on strong in the last four weeks, and ranks in the top 20 nationally in most categories.
Defensive back/punt return specialist Richaud Floyd, who left after one punt return with a hamstring injury, is doubtful for this week's homecoming game against Mississippi.
Garrett was named co-Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, the second time in as many games he's received the honor. He recorded two interceptions and a defensive score in his third consecutive game Saturday, along with two tackles for loss. He is tied for second in the SEC with 43 tackles, is second in solo tackles with 29, and leads the conference with 8.6 tackles per game. He is also tied for the SEC lead in interceptions with Florida defensive back Shawn Davis with three, and is the only player in the nation with two defensive scores.
Garrett did not speak with media after Saturday's game, who were told he was getting treatment, and he appeared to favor the front of his left shoulder after contact with Troy wide receiver Kaylon Geiger at the end of the first quarter, before either of his interceptions. Garrett did not play in the second half.
Missouri did not rule Garrett out for the remainder of the season, but if he does not come back this year, a medical redshirt via hardship waiver is not likely. The NCAA rule is the injury must occur in the first half of the season, which is the case for Garrett, but it also states the player must not have played in more than four games or a third of the team's season, whichever is greater. Saturday's game was Garrett's fifth of the season.
Junior Jamal Brooks, who is behind Garrett at middle linebacker on the depth chart, played a good number of snaps in the second half, as did sophomore Cameron Wilkins, who is weakside Nick Bolton's backup. Aubrey Miller Jr. had knee surgery earlier this season and is likely out for another few weeks at minimum.
Odom was subdued in his comments about Garrett after the game, which sticks out more in retrospect.
"He's playing really, really well," Odom said. "Yeah, he's playing really well. And again, kind of hit the record button on what I said, whatever, two weeks ago or three weeks ago or four weeks ago, it's the things he does every day in practice. His instinctual feeling of how to go play is off the charts, and he's the heart and soul of our team."
It's been a tough week for the football program. Odom made a note in his postgame comments Saturday defensive line coach Brick Haley's brother recently passed away.
"That guy, he means so much to our program," Odom said, "and for him to stay here and do what he did, coach and lead and guide and mentor, love our kids, says a lot about him. Our prayers are with his family."