Columbia, Mo. Jeremy Maclin left the Missouri sideline on a cart in the fourth quarter of Saturday's opener, believing he had broken his left ankle and with a towel over his face to conceal the anguish. Not again, Maclin thought.
"I could feel a little bit of popping but that could have come from my ankle being a little swollen," Maclin said Monday. "At the time, I kind of had thoughts going through my head that something could really be wrong with it."
It was a false alarm for the All-American who set an NCAA freshman record for all-purpose yards last season after missing the 2006 season with a knee injury. He expects to be in the lineup this weekend if he can shake off a sprain.
"I want to play," Maclin said. "Nobody wants to sit out. I think I'll be ready to play at 100 percent, if not really close."
It was great news for the team, even if it could win the next two games against midlevel competition without Maclin. Missouri plays Southeast Missouri State in the home opener Saturday and Buffalo next week.
"A sigh of relief, no doubt about it," quarterback Chase Daniel said Monday. "That's sort of scary for anyone."