COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri wide receiver Jerrell Jackson will start in the opener against Illinois, less than a month since breaking a bone in his left wrist, the team announced Monday.
"He has recovered remarkably well," coach Gary Pinkel said. "We could have never predicted he would do what he's doing out there."
Jackson, a junior, is the Tigers' top returning wide receiver with 37 receptions and two touchdowns last year. Pinkel said Jackson would be in the lineup Saturday against Illinois in St. Louis and would wear a small cast on the wrist.
"Having Jerrell back is a big boost to our offense," quarterback Blaine Gabbert said. "He hasn't been hindered one bit from his injury and we're looking for big things from him."
Jackson had surgery Aug. 16 to insert a pin into the wrist and original estimates were he'd miss the first two or three games. Eight days after the operation, though, Jackson began catching passes on the sidelines at practice.
"I knew (I'd be ready) last week when I started catching balls and it felt good," Jackson said.
Jackson said he hadn't dropped any passes the last few practices. He leads a group of largely untested wide receivers for the Tigers, 8-5 last season.
"Everyone is pumped up," Jackson said. "We know it's our year to step up."
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