Missouri Tigers Football: James Franklin Injury Puts Pressure on Freshman QB

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterMarch 15, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 26:  Quarterback James Franklin #1 of the Missouri Tigers passes during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on November 26, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium  in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Late Tuesday, the news popped that Mizzou quarterback James Franklin had pulled himself from practice after tweaking his shoulder. Well, it appears that the indefinite tag cannot be removed from Franklin as the training staff tries to figure out what is actually wrong with the rising junior.

Franklin was Mr. Everything for the Tigers a season ago as he led Missouri to their Independence Bowl victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels. Expected to improve on an already solid performance as the Tigers transition into the SEC, the severity of this injury is something that should have Mizzou fans waiting with bated breath.

Throw in the fact that backup quarterback Ashton Glaser has been arrested for outstanding warrants and Mizzou is in a bit of a bind, at least in the spring, at the quarterback position. That means freshman Corbin Berkstresser is being inserted into first-team reps as the "answer" for the Tigers.

Berkstresser was a 3-star recruit in the 2011 class. The kid, out of Lee's Summit, Missouri, fits more into the Blaine Gabbert mold than the athletic James Franklin, but as spring ball progresses, how he is able to grow into the Mizzou offense could shed some light on how the Tigers' backup quarterback situation looks for the SEC-bound gang in Columbia.

For Franklin, the diagnosis on the "tweak" will be key as the doctors and trainers can design a program to help get his shoulder rehabbed and ready to go, either for some action to finish out the spring or by summer, so he can throw and work out with his teammates heading into fall camp. Since it is his throwing shoulder, look for the doctors to run through a battery of tests and fans should hope for the best.

Here at #YB11 we'll be keeping a close eye on the situation as Mizzou has plenty of pressure on them to use this spring to help get ready for when they make their SEC debut in September against the Georgia Bulldogs.