FORT WORTH − Missouri running back Tyler Badie will not play in Wednesday's Armed Forces bowl game and instead has declared for the 2022 NFL draft.
Coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced the decision Tuesday during a press conference in Fort Worth. Badie will still attend the game as a team captain.
Drinkwitz elaborated on the decision and said the coaching staff wanted to take the pressure off of him and not put him in a position of "having to pick between himself and his future and the team."
"As a staff, we felt like at this point we had to do what was in his best interest after all he's given our football team," Drinkwitz said.
Watch: @CoachDrinkwitz on his decision not to play Tyler Badie tomorrow. "Our staff wanted to take the stress off of him and not put him in a position of having to pick between himself and his future and our football team." @KOMUsports pic.twitter.com/i2wOOXPnOM— Lauren Michelson (@LaurenMichelson) December 21, 2021
Badie took to Instagram Tuesday morning to announce he has declared for the NFL draft. He thanked his family, coaches and team for his time at Missouri.
Drinkwitz said coaches made the decision to not play Badie due to the "what if" of injury.
"If you truly value your team like they are your own son, sometimes you look at things differently," Drinkwitz said.
An emotional response to keeping Tyler Badie out at tomorrow's game. "What if something went wrong and I had to look myself in the mirror and I couldn't do that," Drinkwitz said. @KOMUsports @BenArnetKOMU pic.twitter.com/s8G5WKPAO0— Lauren Michelson (@LaurenMichelson) December 21, 2021
Dawson Downing will start as running back and Brady Cook will start as quarterback for the Tigers.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN.