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Jim McElwain To Undergo Surgery, Week 1 Status Uncertain

Central Michigan head coach Jim McElwain ahead of a game at Wisconsin.

MADISON, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 07: Head coach Jim McElwain of the Central Michigan Chippewas walks to the field with his team before the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Jim McElwain's Central Michigan football program has a big season opener at Missouri. Unfortunately, he may be on the sideline to lead the Chippewas on Saturday.

McElwain was diagnosed with appendicitis, according to college football insider Brett McMurphy. He'll have surgery today, and will be absent as he recovers.

Assistant head coach Tim Skipper will take the reins of the program in McElwain's absence. He was elevated to the AHC level this offseason. He also coaches linebackers for the program. He previously served on McElwain's staffs at Florida and Colorado State as well.

This is a tough break for the Chippewas, any way that you slice it. The team may very well be without its very experienced head coach as it hits the road to face an SEC team to open the season.

Before this news broke, Central Michigan was a 14.5-point underdog on the road at Mizzou. This won't help matters on that front either, if McElwain hasn't recovered enough to be on the sideline by Saturday.

The Chippewas are 11-9 in two seasons under Jim McElwain, with a 9-5 MAC record. The team was 3-3 last year's shortened season, after a solid 8-6 (6-2) 2019 season, their first under the former Florida coach.

Missouri enters year two under head coach Eliah Drinkwitz, who landed the SEC job after one year at the helm at Appalachian State in 2019. After an impressive 12-1 season with the Mountaineers, he led Mizzou to a 5-5 record in 2020, with all games against SEC opponents

Saturday's game at Faurot Field kicks off at 4 p.m. ET.