Denard Robinson 'close' to 100 percent, ready to start at QB; no call yet
ANN ARBOR -- Brady Hoke's quarterback subterfuge continues for another week.
The Michigan coach said Monday his starting quarterback job is "up in the air" for Saturday's game against Ohio State.
Hoke said Denard Robinson, who has missed three consecutive quarterback starts with an injured ulnar nerve in his throwing elbow, is "close" to 100 percent and is healthy enough to start.
But fill-in Devin Gardner, who is 3-0 as the starter, also remains in the fold after three terrific performances. Hoke won't make a call on who starts until later in the week.
"He's getting better," Hoke said of Robinson. "He's close. He's throwing the ball. I think he's close to 100 percent now.
"He could start."
Robinson did play last week, although it mostly was at tailback, as well as swings at quarterback and receiver. He did not attempt a pass, although led Michigan with 98 yards rushing. He caught two passes for 24 yards.
He said after the game his elbow "feels pretty good," and his passing is coming around.
“I’ve been getting treatment a lot," Robinson said. "They’ve been telling me a lot of this stuff, and I’ve just been getting treatment, and I’ve been day by day and been getting better. Once I got a chance to get the go-ahead (to play against Iowa), I went out and started practicing and started playing a lot.”
Can he throw?
"You’ll see next week,” Robinson said with a smile.
Gardner remained the full-time quarterback against Iowa and sparkled, accounting for three rushing touchdowns and three passing touchdowns. He was 18-of-23 passing for 314 yards, the first time a Michigan quarterback surpassed 300 yards through the air in 17 games.
Gardner earned Big Ten offensive player of the week honors for the second consecutive time, but he downplayed the performance.
"That's all I'm doing, is what they're asking me to do," he said. "The line's blocking great. All the touchdowns were like 3 yards or below, so it's not like I did much. Just did what I was supposed to do.
"(Tailback Thomas) Rawls got us down there, the line blocked for him, so I'm not sure why I'm getting that much (credit) if I just ran for 1 yard, or 3 yards."
Gardner has said this remains Robinson's team.
But who, exactly, starts at quarterback?
It appears that will remain a mystery, probably until Saturday.