HOOVER, Ala. -- Missouri junior defensive tackle Harold Brantley will miss the entire 2015 season, coach Gary Pinkel said at SEC Media Days on Wednesday.
Brantley broke his leg and sustained ligament damage in his knee during a serious car accident near the end of June. With Brantley out for the season, the Tigers do not have a returning starter along the defensive line.
"I think that would have been one of the best players in the SEC, and therefore in the nation -- when he got in a car accident," Pinkel said. "The good news is he's going to be fine, most importantly. The good news is he can, all that being in a car wreck, he had a lot of injuries, they can all heal, and he can come back and accomplish all his goals, and we'll get him back next year. But that also puts some -- we have to make some adjustments there, understanding we're losing a great player. Everybody's got to do that. That could happen the third game of the season. It could happen to anybody in our league.
Pinkel said that Brantley is mostly in good spirits, though it has been tough. Brantley was expected to be a major contributor this season after totaling 54 tackles and five sacks in 2014. Highly regarded freshman Terry Beckner Jr. is expected to take Brantley's spot in the starting lineup.
"Harold is going to be okay. He's going to have his moments. He anticipated being an All-American this year and worked that hard to do and wanted to help us win. It's just going to put on -- we're going to be on pause for a while. So we have to help him. We do that at Mizzou. He's part of our family. We reach down and pick him up and put our arm around him and help him through it. He'll develop. And the great thing is he's going to be okay, number one. He can be 100 percent healthy, number two. And he can accomplish all his goals and graduate. But we'll help him through it as he goes."