The mystery surrounding Missouri quarterback James Franklin's absence from Saturday night's win over Arizona State has been answered.
According to the Missourian, Franklin declined to take painkillers to help his throwing shoulder, which he injured during spring practice.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the painkiller in question was a cortisone shot.
It isn't that Franklin didn't want to take the medicine on Saturday night; he never does. Nobody in his family does.
"I like to feel the pain," Franklin told the Missourian. "I like to be my own judge of it because I don't want to just numb it and play and then possibly hurt it more or do something and then, next thing I know, I won't be able to play for a couple weeks."
Should James Franklin be criticized for not doing whatever it takes to play through the pain?
He should be commended.
Whether you agree with his principles or not, they're his principles and bravo to him for sticking by them and not succumbing to peer pressure.
His reasoning behind refusing to take painkillers makes sense, and he's got his own future to look out for in addition to his team's.
It seems like a scene straight out of Varsity Blues.
While that movie is fiction, the scene where quarterback Lance Harbor gets an injection in his knee only to suffer a serious injury later on is exactly what Franklin hopes to guard against.
Is he letting his team down? Maybe a little bit.
But he knows that if he's not 100 percent, whether he feels the pain or it's disguised by painkillers, that he's not going to be able to perform at the level that he, his teammates, his coaching staff and his fans expect.
Good for James Franklin for sticking to his guns.