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Posted on Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 5:44 p.m.

Michigan football team injury report, uniform number change and more on potential Alabama matchup

By Pete Bigelow


Michigan running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, who missed the first three games with a knee injury, is hauled down by Bowling Green defenders after a 61-yard gain on Saturday.

Lon Horwedel |

Fitzgerald Toussaint missed the season’s first three games with an injured knee. Now an injured shoulder has landed the him back on the team’s injury list.

The redshirt freshman will have tests done this week. His knee still isn’t completely healthy -- a brace on it hampered his speed during a 61-yard run against Bowling Green on Saturday.

His only other carry was a 5-yard touchdown on the next play.

“He’ll get teased about that forever now,” Rodriguez said of Toussaint getting caught from behind by Falcon defenders.

“Part of that was it was a long run in his knee brace. … The issue with his shoulder, that’s a shame. He’s had tough luck.”

Rodriguez is more optimistic that linebacker/safety Carvin Johnson will return against Indiana from a sprained MCL he suffered in the opener.

Linebacker Brandon Herron (ankle), running back Michael Shaw (knee) and quarterback Tate Forcier are all probable for the Indiana game on Saturday (3:30 p.m., ESPNU). “Nothing wrong with his knee,” Rodrigeuz said of Forcier, who limped noticeably during and after his season debut against Bowling Green. “I think he took a shot to the quad. Got a helmet or something to the quad. He’ll be fine.”

BY THE NUMBERS After the Michigan kickoff return team took the field Saturday with two No. 9s on the field, a goof that drew a five-yard penalty, freshman defensive back Courtney Avery changed his uniform number.

“Courtney is going to be No. 5,” Rodriguez said. “I think that number is open. There’s no controversy with that, is there? Let me know now.”

That drew chuckles Monday, as Tate Forcier wears the No. 5 jersey. Since he doesn’t play special teams, it shouldn’t conflict with Avery’s co-occupation of the jersey number.

Speaking of jersey numbers, all of Taylor Lewan’s teammates assumed he requested No. 77 during his recruitment because it was the number worn by former Michigan left tackle Jake Long, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

“I didn’t even know about Jake Long until my senior year of high school,” Lewan confessed Monday.

Lewan, a redshirt freshman, claimed the starting left tackle job against Bowling Green, supplanting incumbent Mark Huyge. Still, Lewan knows he’s got a ways to go before he rises to Long’s level.

“I saw him once on the sidelines last year. He’s a very large individual,” said Lewan, who is 6-foot-8, 294 pounds. “I had my shoulder pads on and he was still wider than me. It was ridiculous.”

ALABAMA STILL A POSSIBILITY Rich Rodriguez heard Alabama coach Nick Saban’s comments last week about a potential football game between Michigan the Crimson Tide being a near-certainty.

“Nick knows more than I do,” Rodriguez said Monday. “We’ve both been talking about it. There’s nothing that’s been done or delivered or anything like that. We’ve had conversations. That’s interesting.”



Tue, Sep 28, 2010 : 2:43 p.m.

Metric/Nathan, Here is the link that confirms that the nets went up about ten years ago when Corso picked Michigan to beat SMU in Lansing.


Tue, Sep 28, 2010 : 11:46 a.m.

Fitz best time in HS was 4.69 in the 40. He wasn't fast then and he definately isn't fast now. If the brace really hampered his speed that must mean he's a 5.0 guy now. No wonder the linebackers can out run him.


Tue, Sep 28, 2010 : 9:07 a.m.

Metric/Nathan, I don't know when it started, but Gameday has had their screens up for a long time, and they do it every week, not just for certain schools. It's been at least 6-7 years, maybe longer. It was done for two reasons: One you identified correctly, the other is to provide a sound barrier without closing off the fans

Steve Pepple

Tue, Sep 28, 2010 : 7:50 a.m.

A comment that personally attacked another commenter was removed.


Tue, Sep 28, 2010 : 7:42 a.m.

Lewan is going to be a great O-lineman at Michigan. Seeing him on the field, he looks like a slightly thinner version of Jake Long. When he "fills in", he'll be every bit as imposing as JL. I REALLY hope Toussiant gets healthy one of these days soon. He looks like a potentially great running back.


Tue, Sep 28, 2010 : 7:03 a.m.

I don't like trash-talking to begin with, but as a U-M fan with family who attended MSU I respect MSU and Coach Dantonio and hope they do well every week they are not playing U-M. When MSU comes to town, I am hoping it is a hard-fought U-M victory. I sure hope U-M can find a way to beef up the defensive line so that they don't get pushed around at the line of scrimmage by MSU or it could be a long day. On the other hand, MSU should also have trouble stopping U-M's high octane offense.


Tue, Sep 28, 2010 : 6:46 a.m.

One of the reasons for the high productivity of the offense so far has been the good health and stellar blocking ability of the offensive line. In order for this success to continue, people like Molk and Schilling will need to remain healthy, which is not a given as the season moves into Big Ten season and the level of hitting ramps up. If they and QBs can stay healthy, especially Denard, U-M will remain competitive and will keep improving.


Tue, Sep 28, 2010 : 3:46 a.m.

ESPN game day now uses nets around the stage at MSU cause fans throw things at the broadcasters.Between MSU and Florida most the athletes are sharing cell block 6 as we speak.


Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 9:43 p.m.

metric you missed the whole point. MSU brags and if you can use a crayon you can get into state. Michigan on the other hand requires top level performance. Most freshman are it the top 5% of their high school class. MSU is truly little brother they just do not want to admit it. Can't get into collge go to msu. party on sparty.


Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 9:23 p.m.

Isn't it time for Rothstein to publish his negative UM football article? He must be on South Bend! lol As for this piece, it sounds like Fitz may have a slight separation or something along those lines. Too bad this kid can't get healthy. He will be one of those kids that ends up having a great year as a senior. Also, good joke by RR with the No. 5 jersey. So many people roasted him for that as if he did it intentionally.


Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 8:41 p.m.

aftermac: Now you know what it's like to be an MSU basketball fan. Oh, except that UM beats MSU so rarely -- with an average of almost two meetings a year, not one -- that the UM fans can't brag about anything. But as tater will tell you, it's coming, because Izzo is headed to the NBA any time now. One of the best things about the last two years is that UM fans have shown their true colors. They are no different than other fans. They whine when their team doesn't win and they make excuses. There's infighting about who should be be coach. You have a stake in wanting to believe MSU fans are somehow worse so that you can maintain some sense of superiority while actually losing on the field/court.


Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 7:14 p.m.

Sparty fans are awful... it's like having a yearly rivalry with an FCS school. When we beat them it's no big deal... like beating Minnesota or Northwestern. But, when they beat us you never hear the end of it.


Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 7:06 p.m.

It's unfortunate about Fitz Toussaint, he has alot of potential, tater, I agree 100% with your post, It would be awesome to play 'Bama on the National stage. p.s., you spelled Rodriguez wrong up by the "Nothing wrong with his knee" part, just letting you know.