Tony Temple knows what it’s like to want to play through an injury. After being diagnosed with a high ankle sprain after the 2007 Nebraska game, he felt that as a senior starter and an offensive weapon at running back for the Missouri football team, it was important that he play. Temple admitted that after sitting out a couple of games after his ankle sprain, he took a few shots of painkillers through out the season so he could play the rest of his senior year. Temple played almost half of the season with an injury, including the Big 12 Championship against Oklahoma, and the 2008 Cotton Bowl against Arkansas, where he set a Cotton Bowl record with 24 carries for 281 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Despite being one of the top performers in one of the most memorable seasons in Coach Gary Pinkel’s era at Missouri, Temple admits he’s dealing with the consequences of taking painkillers five years after college.
“I definitely get up slower, I move a little slower. In the winter and in the cold I can still feel the pain from the injury.”
Temple said he watched Missouri play Arizona State this past weekend. When he heard Missouri quarterback James Franklin had turned down a Cortisone shot for his shoulder, Temple thought Franklin made a smart decision.
“I don’t blame James at all for not taking the shot. I commend him for making that decision, for not putting his body in danger with painkillers and for wanting to feel the pain to take care of his injury instead of ignoring it.”
A native of Columbia, Mo. and former basketball player for Missouri S&T, Byron Bundy, agreed with Temple and said Franklin was wise in making his decision. Bundy, who suffered from a foot injury in college, said he took four shots of Cortisone just to get through his junior year.
“It didn’t help me play any better. After I stopped taking the shots, I found out I ended up tearing other ligaments in my foot. I had to have two surgeries on the same foot after all of that. Now, two years later, my foot STILL hurts.”