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Says he was around the ball a lot last year but wasn't making many plays. Pinkel says he's shown "tremendous courage" to get treatment for his hip injury, has made "tremendous progress." Steward wasn't near what he can do, Pinkel says.This year, he's making those impact plays he wasn't finishing last year. It's something at a young age he's forced to deal with. He'll spend the year rehabbing with hopes of playing in 2016 then apply for a medical redshirt for the 2017 season. "He was really, really frustrated." Pinkel happy for Steward that he's made this decision.Shoulder is sore but it doesn't have much of an effect on his throwing. He doesn't have any excuses."On missing Culkin, Pinkel says MU will do a lot of the same things with the backup tight ends. Pinkel says Reese has the potential to be an explosive playmaker in the passing game but has to "master the position."The staff will get Kendall Blanton ready to play as the third tight end.
Plans haven't been finalized for what they'll do with the linebackers if Brothers can't play. Freshman Cam Hllton was MU's sixth safety heading into last week; the staff asked him last week if he'd like to play receiver and he agreed.Returns haven't had much impact through four games.On Aarion Penton: "He's playing at a different level than he was a year ago."Asked about Maty Mauk saying Saturday his shoulder is a little banged up, Pinkel said "Yes, we're aware of it." Said Mauk needs to release the ball quicker.Pinkel calls Hansbrough and Ish Witter a "pretty good 1-2 punch." Pinkel: "Kentrell wants to play. It's just a little sore."Pinkel says Clarence Green "doesn't have to be Kentrell.He just has to be the very best he can be." Says the same of Michael Scherer and Newsom.