Missouri tight end Chase Coffman missed senior day and the victory that clinched the Big 12 North because of turf toe.

An extra week of rest after the 12th-ranked Tigers captured the North for the second straight season might help him finally get back on the field for the regular season finale against Kansas on Saturday.

Missouri tight end Chase Coffman missed senior day and the victory that clinched the Big 12 North because of turf toe.
An extra week of rest after the 12th-ranked Tigers captured the North for the second straight season might help him finally get back on the field for the regular season finale against Kansas on Saturday. Coffman, coach Gary Pinkel and quarterback Chase Daniel all were optimistic on Monday, although Pinkel noted he’s sounded hopeful notes before each of the games Coffman has missed.
“The last couple of times I’ve talked to you, I anticipated him playing,” Pinkel said. “I anticipate him playing this week. We certainly need him back.”
Coffman has practiced the last two days and said he’s been doing “pretty much everything” although the left big toe that was hyperextended while blocking against Baylor on Nov. 1 still isn’t perfect.
To cope with the injury, which causes a sharp pain every time he pushes off, the toe is heavily taped and he’s wearing special insoles to take pressure off the front of the foot.
“It’s feeling a lot better,” he said. “I’m still having just a little bit of problems, but hopefully I’ll be right around 100 percent for the game.”
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Coffman is the most prolific pass-catching tight end in NCAA history with 230 receptions and holds the school record with 27 touchdowns receiving. Despite the injury, he’s fourth in the nation at his position this season with 73 catches, an 11.2-yard average and seven touchdowns. On Monday, he was named a John Mackey Award finalist given annually to the nation’s top tight end, along with Oklahoma’s Jermaine Gresham and Oklahoma State’s Brandon Pettigrew.
Coffman participated in pre-game warmups before the Iowa State game on Nov. 15 and was prepared to play if Missouri (9-2, 5-2 Big 12) needed him. Early on in a 52-20 victory, he didn’t have to be told to stand down, plus freshman Andrew Jones was having a good day with a career-best seven catches for 61 yards.
“I followed the coaches around for the first couple of series, just seeing how things were going,” Coffman said. “Once we started scoring, getting up, it pretty much sealed the deal that I wasn’t going to play.”
Pinkel said it’s important to be patient with such an injury, which can easily get aggravated.
“A guy’s just got to feel right and you trust Chase,” Pinkel said. “There’s never, ‘Hey, we’ve got to get this guy ready to play.’
“You know he’ll get back as fast as he can.”
All signs point to a return in the Tigers’ annual border rivalry game against Kansas (6-5, 3-4), even if the neutral-site game in Kansas City that decided the North last season is just a mere warmup for the Big 12 championship game Dec. 6. Both games will be played at the Chiefs’ home, Arrowhead Stadium.
Missouri is looking for its third straight victory in the series, which players and coaches insist has their full attention. Daniel said he learned of the intense Kansas rivalry early in the recruiting process.
“This is one thing that I think would just make their season,” Coffman said. “Whether they go to a bowl game or not probably doesn’t matter to them as long as they beat us, and I think it’s kind of the same way here.”
MACLIN NAMED FINALIST: In addition to Coffman being named a Mackey Award finalist, Mizzou’s Jeremy Maclin was named one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award that is given to the nation’s top receiver.
And like the Mackey Award, it will go to a Big 12 player. Along with Maclin, Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree and Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant are the other two finalists.
Maclin has 79 receptions for 1,052 yards and 10 touchdowns entering Saturday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium against Kansas. He’s also the nation’s leader in all-purpose yards, averaging 202.2 yards per game.