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Eli Drinkwitz updates status of star receiver Luther Burden

The game will change in a big way if he can’t go.

Missouri v Georgia Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

SATURDAY UPDATE: Burden is going to play, per Drinkwitz

College football injury reports are always tricky, but one situation has our full attention heading into Saturday’s Tennessee-Missouri matchup. Luther Burden, Missouri’s standout wide receiver, is banged up after suffering an injury last week against Georgia.

Burden left the game in the second quarter, but was able to return later against the Bulldogs. Ahead of the Tennessee game, Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz admitted he was concerned with his receiver’s status for Saturday.

“All those guys are dealing with different things that they’ve kind of battled through,” Drinkwitz said earlier in the week. “I think Luther and Realus would be the two I’m the most concerned about right now.”

Realus George Jr., a defensive tackle, left the game early against Georgia and did not return. He is also considered questionable for Saturday.

Burden is a former five-star prospect, ranking as the third overall player in the class of 2022, per 247Sports. He scored six touchdowns as a true freshman last season, and has emerged as one of the top threats in the SEC as a sophomore. Burden has 64 catches on the year for 958 yards, scoring seven times. The 5-11, 208 pound receiver is averaging 15 yards per catch.

Drinkwitz offered another update on Thursday.

“Well, I haven’t seen him practice today, but yesterday he was in a green jersey and didn’t take a whole lot of reps,” Drinkwitz said. “You know, we’ll just have to see how he progresses, so I won’t know more about that, probably, ‘til after today’s practice.

“But I would anticipate Friday is the first time I’ll have a real feel on whether or not he’s going to be able to play or not.”

Should Burden miss, attention would shift heavily to Oklahoma transfer Theo Wease. Cody Schrader and the rushing attack would obviously need to step up as well.

Through this injury situation, Tennessee has pushed out slightly to a 1.5 point favorite, per DraftKings Sportsbook. Who knows if that’s that catalyst or not, but it’s something we’ll be monitoring all the way up until kickoff tomorrow afternoon. The line will certainly jump in Tennessee’s direction should he be ruled out.

Tennessee and Missouri are set for a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff on CBS.

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