November 16, 2006

Johnson ready to make his return

For the last six games, the Missouri defense has been on a considerable slide down the national rankings. For all but a few minutes of those six games, starting cornerback Domonique Johnson has been on the bench rehabbing a knee injury.

Coincidence? Maybe. The Tigers may get that answer on Saturday when Johnson returns to the field for the first time since the conference opener against Colorado.

"The last five weeks have been difficult," said Johnson. "It's fun now knowing that I'm back practicing and the chance to play is out there again. It's good not to be sitting here looking like I'm going to miss my third year in five years of playing football."

The Tigers, despite the decline in the defensive numbers, insist there were some positives to Johnson's absence.

"I think other players have done a good job," Pinkel said. "Del Howard, Hardy Ricks, to put a freshman and redshirt freshman in that arena at that position, I think those kids have done a tremendous job and they'll be great players."

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