TE Coffman expects to play despite toe injury - KMOV.com

TE Coffman expects to play despite toe injury

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Tight end Chase Coffman is a slight question mark for No. 13 Missouri after spraining his left big toe in a victory at Baylor but said Monday he expects to play this week.

Coffman set an NCAA career record for receptions by a tight end earlier his senior season.

He has extra incentive to play against Kansas State on Saturday night, given that it's the Tigers' home finale and that his father -- former NFL Pro Bowl tight end Paul Coffman -- played for the Wildcats.

Quarterback Chase Daniel sounded confident that he'll have Coffman as a target in the Kansas State game.

"He's looking good," Daniel said. "He's such a competitor and it's his dad's team, so yeah, he's going to play."

Coffman was in a walking boot on Sunday and was at the top of coach Gary Pinkel's short injury list on Monday, listed as questionable. But he met with reporters wearing tennis shoes, walked with only a slight limp and said simply, "I'll be playing."

"There's still a lot of time to get healed up and I'm going to be in the training room a lot," Coffman said. "It's going to be our last game at the 'Zoo and we've got to go out with a bang."

Coffman caught two touchdown passes in the 31-28 victory at Baylor, both requiring fancy footwork in the corner of the end zone, before getting hurt in the fourth quarter.

"I just planted to make a block and when I pushed off, I don't know what happened," Coffman said. "It just hurt."

Pinkel said Coffman was "limping around most of the fourth quarter," but noted there wasn't much swelling. Coffman didn't think the injury would prevent him from trying more of the full-extension, tightrope-walking catches that have become his trademark.

"Whatever it takes to win," Coffman said. "I don't think it has anything to do with that."

Coffman has 230 career receptions with a school-record 27 touchdowns, and has four 100-yard games this season for Missouri (7-2, 3-2 Big 12). He's fourth on the list of active reception leaders, trailing wide receivers Jarrett Dillard of Rice (270), A.J. Harris of New Mexico State (240) and Michael Thomas of Arizona (233).

Before this year, the 6-6, 255-pound Coffman was half of a very productive tight end tandem with Martin Rucker, a consensus All-American as a senior now in his rookie season with the Cleveland Browns.

This season, Coffman leads Missouri with 73 catches and seven touchdowns, and he's been a consistent producer even during the two-game slide of losses to Oklahoma State and Texas that knocked Missouri out of national title contention.

"A high-level athlete that thinks at a different level," Pinkel said. "They're just different people, and he's got it, that's what he is. We've got a very special player."

Pinkel expected defensive end Tommy Chavis (ankle), who was limited against Baylor and missed the previous game against Colorado, to be at full strength.

"We've been really fortunate, I think, for this late in the season," Pinkel said. "We're in pretty good shape."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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