Missouri had every reason to expect a big season out of the passing game, but running back Henry Josey has been a revelation. Unfortunately for the Tigers, that revelation appears to have run its course after Josey left today’s game against Texas with a left knee injury.
The Kansas City Star reports (via Twitter) that Josey suffered a ruptured tendon in the knee. The paper quotes Dr. Pat Smith, an orthopedic surgeon, as saying that the sophomore is “done. Done for the year.”
The loss puts a serious damper on Missouri’s biggest victory of the year, a 17-5 upset of the No. 16 Longhorns. Josey’s replacement, Kendial Lawrence, stepped up big with a 35-yard TD and 106 rushing yards overall in the victory.
As well as Lawrence played today, though, the loss of Josey is a devastating blow for the Tigers. Missouri’s ground game—ranked 12th nationally—will take a severe downturn, leaving dual-threat QB James Franklin under even more pressure to carry the team by himself.
The closest thing to a silver lining for the team is that their remaining regular-season games pit them against the woeful defenses of Texas Tech and Kansas. As such, the Tigers could well sneak into bowl-eligibility range even with Josey out, as long as Franklin’s aerial attack (ranked 37th in the country itself) bails out the running game.
As for Josey himself, he’ll get an extended offseason to rehab his knee and return to Columbia next fall with a lot more fanfare than he brought into 2011. Expect him to be a key cog in another high-powered Missouri offense next season.