Missouri's James Franklin to return to face Gators
Missouri starting QB James Franklin is expected to start when the Tigers play Florida in Gainesville on Saturday. Franklin has been hampered by injuries all season, which has been tough for Mizzou, coach Gary Pinkel said.
“Well, I mean he has not been healthy all year, and here’s a guy last year who was coming off 22 touchdown throws and 15 runs, and a guy that I believe has the potential to be a great player,'' Pinkel said. "He tears his labrum during spring football, then hurts his other shoulder the first couple of weeks of the season, and he has an ACL in spring, so he has not been healthy all year. Does that affect your team? Well there’s no question about that, we all know that. Take any starting quarterback out of a program and it’s going to have a huge impact. That being said, we have no excuses for anything around here. The bottom line is you’ve got to go play, and you’ve got to go win. And we’ve always taken that stance and that will never change."
Franklin returned for a portion of this past week's win over Kentucky, and will start on Saturday. Pinkel said it continues to take time for Franklin to be all the way back.
"He’s doing better now,'' Pinkel said. "He’s getting more confidence. People have to understand that he didn’t run until Sunday before this last game, the Kentucky game. He had only run, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday was the only time he’s run in the last three weeks. And getting very little practice. So that’s what’s really hurt a lot of it, too, with these injuries, the practice time – missing all of spring football and
so on and so forth. But he’s a battler. I had him in my office and talked to him today a little bit about how proud I am of him. He came into the season and he expected to be a great player and help us win. But he’s just been through an awful lot, personally, from an injury standpoint. A guy that didn’t miss a down the year before. So, I think he has the potential to be a great player, I’ll never deviate from that. It’ll be nice to get him back competing."