The Missouri Tigers will be without two key defensive starters for the rest of the season after both players suffered torn ACLs in Saturday’s loss to Middle Tennessee State.
The Missouri Tigers suffered two major losses on Tuesday, as it was announced that linebacker Michael Scherer and defensive tackle Terry Beckner, Jr. both suffered torn ACLs in Saturday’s shocking loss to Middle Tennessee State.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Dave Matter writes that Scherer is definitely done–and therefore, the senior’s collegiate career is over–after he suffered a torn MCL in addition to his torn ACL. Beckner apparently has a slight chance to return this season, but considering the traditionally serious nature of the injury he sustained, it seems all but certain that he’ll miss the rest of the 2016 campaign.
The good news for Beckner is that the injury was not to the same knee he injured in 2015. On November 14 against BYU, Beckner suffered a torn ACL and MCL, which caused him to miss the rest of that season and the offseason program.
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In addition to being the heart and soul of Mizzou’s defense (and arguably the entire team), Scherer was arguably the team’s most productive defensive player, with a team-leading 53 tackles–including 3.5 for loss–through seven games. After a great freshman season, Beckner had been having a somewhat quiet sophomore season, as he’d collected just 24 total tackles and two sacks through seven contests.
Scherer, a 6-foot-3, 235-pounder, was considered a fringe NFL Draft prospect, but now it will be tough for him to work his way into having a shot at a professional career. he collected 114 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss as a sophomore, then had 93 tackles and nine tackles for loss last season,
Beckner, who came into Mizzou as one of the most highly-regarded prospects in the country. He’s still got two seasons of eligibility left after this, but his two knee injuries as well as an arrest last spring have certainly damaged his future draft stock. He’ll need to up his game over the next season or two if he expects to be an early-round draftee like many had expected him to when he first arrived at MU.
In Scherer’s absence, Donavin Newsom will have to step forward as the leader of Mizzou’s defense. Guys like Cale Garrett, Terez Hall, Joey Burkett, Brandon Lee, and Eric Beisel–all of whom have gotten occasional playing time this season–will have the opportunity to claim more prominent roles.
Beckner’s loss will place more pressure on the other members of the Tigers’ defensive tackle rotation–Rickey Hatley, A.J. Logan, and Josh Augusta–to make plays. Augusta’s offensive responsibilities as a short-yardage fullback may have to be curtailed so that the 355-pounder has enough energy to play a significant role on defense. True freshman Markell Utsey may also see some more action.