You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Dec 14, 2009 : 9:10 p.m.

Michigan running back Brandon Minor undergoes rotator cuff surgery

By Dave Birkett

Brandon-Minor 12-42-25.jpg

Michigan tailback Brandon Minor had rotator cuff surgery last Friday. It is unclear how the injury and recovery will affect his draft status.

(Photo: Lon Horwedel |

Former Michigan running back Brandon Minor underwent surgery to repair a torn left rotator cuff last Friday and won't be able to participate in football-related activities for the next 3 to 4 months.

Minor suffered the injury, originally diagnosed as a shoulder sprain, in Michigan's 38-36 loss to Purdue in early November.

He tried to play the following week against Wisconsin, but left in the first quarter after 7 carries and sat out the Wolverines' season-ending loss to Ohio State.

Minor's mother, Julie Gilliam, said her son is in a sling and will have his arm immobilized for the next month.

"He's still not feeling too well," Gilliam said. "They had a problem controlling his pain. He ended up having to be taken back into emergency. He was discharged (Sunday). He's doing a lot of sleeping."

One of the most physical running backs in the country, Minor led Michigan with 502 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns this year but missed 3 games with injury.

He sat out Michigan's season-opening win over Western Michigan and a mid-season game against Delaware State with a leg injury related to a preseason car accident. Gilliam said doctors told Minor that would be "a 12-week healing process" at the time.

"Of course, Brandon wasn’t going to miss his senior season and he didn’t want to redshirt," Gilliam said.

Minor, who was limited by torn ligaments in his right wrist as a junior, was on the roster for the East-West Shrine Game before surgery. He won't play in that all-star contest now, and it's unclear how his shoulder injury will affect his draft stock.

The Richmond, Va., native was projected as a late-round pick before the injury.

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Tue, Dec 15, 2009 : 1:04 p.m.

Brandon Minor will most definitely be signed as a Free Agent as will Carlos Brown. Each of them have a 'shot' in the NFL. Andy Reid, the Eagles coach did a study a few years ago...from 1992 on, the most starters in all NFL games among all teams...were first round picks....the SECOND most starters in all games...were Free Agents! This was a study of every NFL game over a recent 15 year stretch. This shows the vital importance that Free Agents have in the NFL as well as the vulnerability of the draft and how tough it is to evaluate players coming out, other than first rounders for the most part. If Brown and Minor can stay healthy, they have a shot. One thing that helps Brandon is that he is an excellent blocker and pass protection is critical in the NFL. I could see him ending up with a team like the Pats with Carlos getting a shot with a team like the Colts that likes to spread it out and play in space. If Warren comes out, he will be a 4th or 5th round pick....and Brandon Graham a 1st rounder with Zoltan probably also a Day 1 pick.


Tue, Dec 15, 2009 : 11:36 a.m.

I think this kid is going to suprise a lot of fans in the NFL. He is not "undersized" at 215-220 lbs., and he is shifty. His health is the issue, but he will get his shot on Sundays, and I bet he makes the most of it. I see him being around for 6-7 years as a tandem back. Good luck my man, wish you had been healthy more often for the Big Blue.


Tue, Dec 15, 2009 : 11:03 a.m.

When I see the 6'-1", 215 lb Brandon Minor, the first word that does not come to mind is "undersized". Unfortunately, Brandon's ankle sprains seemed to always be a bigger story than his on-field performance. But I do wish him the best of luck in whatever he chooses to do after college.


Tue, Dec 15, 2009 : 9:01 a.m.

How are they now realizing that he has a rotator cuff injury but throughout the season were calling it a shoulder sprain? That is a little disturbing on our training/medical staffs end. Best of luck to Minor in whatever he does in life


Tue, Dec 15, 2009 : 8:34 a.m.

That's really too bad. When healthy, Brandon Minor gave us a much stronger running game and the team usually did a lot better overall. Everyone was hoping his senior year would be his big year with over 1,000 yards rushing. But, injuries have hampered his entire career at Michigan. As such, the NFL is probably not a good idea for him. Injury-prone players don't last long in the pro ranks. He's better off completing his degree and heading off to the working world. Good luck Brandon, and many thanks!


Tue, Dec 15, 2009 : 12:38 a.m.

Wells and Hart got drafted after being injured their senior season, But they both sucked it up and got their thousand yards. No way does an NFL team waste a draft pick on Minor. Hes undersized, Injury prone, and doesnt have the career stats to fall back on. I think its going to a one player Draft for michigan this year, unless Zoltan goes, but does a punter count?


Tue, Dec 15, 2009 : 12:15 a.m.

Best of Luck to Brandon Minor. That guy gave his heart and soul to Michigan football, despite many setbacks that were well outside of his control and not what he planned when he got here. Lets hope he gets well and can get to play on Sundays....and not just with his kids in the back yard either.

Sean T.

Mon, Dec 14, 2009 : 10:59 p.m.

I wish you well kid, you are gonna do well in the NFL. Get yourself healthy and work hard at your craft and be all you can be. Forget these last two horrible seasons and look at your degree and smile and know you still went to one of the greatest universities in the land!