COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri tailback and team captain Derrick Washington was suspended indefinitely Thursday for unspecified disciplinary reasons.
"As I tell my players, when something happens like this I won't comment on it," coach Gary Pinkel said.
Washington, a senior, has lead the Tigers in rushing each of the last two seasons. Last year he carried the ball a career-high 190 times for 865 yards and 10 touchdowns, despite having lingering knee problems.
He firmly established himself as the starter during his sophomore season rushing for 1,078 yards and scoring 19 TDs.
"We just have to fight through it," quarterback Blaine Gabbert said. "Things are going to happen to this football team but we are going to fight back."
Sophomore Kendial Lawrence is expected to be in line to start when Missouri opens up against Illinois on Sept. 4. Lawrence played in 11 games as a freshman. He ran for 219 yards.
"It was a shock to me," Lawrence said of the suspension. "I'm ready to pick up the slack and help this team out any way that I can."
The team now has depth concerns at the position. Third-team running back De'Vion Moore has been slowed by a foot injury in camp.
Earlier this week, linebacker Will Ebner was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He was demoted to the third team but has been participating in practice since the arrest.