Michigan football safety Jordan Kovacs day to day with knee injury
For the first time in 28 games Saturday, the Michigan football team played without junior safety Jordan Kovacs in the starting lineup.
How much longer will the Wolverines be without their most consistent defensive back?
"He's day to day," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Monday. "He ran around and did some stuff (Sunday) night (at practice).
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
In his place, Michigan moved senior cornerback Troy Woolfolk to strong safety, allowing freshman Blake Countess to slide into the starting lineup in place of Woolfolk.
One of Michigan's most consistent and versatile defenders, Kovacs has 42 tackles, a team-high three sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and one recovered fumble this season.
Hoke said Michigan didn't change its overall game plan with Kovacs out of the lineup, but admitted the team needs him moving forward, starting with the Wolverines’ game Saturday at Iowa (Noon, ESPN).
"We didn't do anything different without him (Saturday)," Hoke said. "There's some leadership that he brings, there's some football (IQ) that he brings that I don't know if you ever make up for."
After allowing a 48-yard touchdown pass on the game's opening drive, the Michigan defense seemed to find a way to makeup for Kovacs' absence.
Woolfolk finished with four tackles, while Countess didn't seem to blink an eye during his first career start, notching three stops, one for a loss.
"With Troy moving to safety from corner, it puts him over the football more and allows him to be a little more aggressive," Michigan senior defensive lineman Ryan Van Bergen said. "We ask our corners to keep the ball inside and play leverage against receivers, that really wasn't Troy's thing.
"He likes to be aggressive and kind of force what he wants to, and at safety he's allowed to do that a little bit more."
As it's been all season, Hoke stayed relatively quiet on Kovacs' injury.
Van Bergen, on the other hand, was a little more open.
"You could tell he was hungry to be out there, but it wasn't in his best interest to play," Van Bergen said of Kovacs. "He probably could've played, but it wasn't in his best interest.
"Jordan's a competitor. I know he'll be back this week; he was running around yesterday looking pretty good."