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Posted on Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 4:33 p.m.

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson expected to play against Purdue

By Pete Bigelow


Michigan sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson smiles before Saturday's game against Illinois at Michigan Stadium.

Melanie Maxwell I

Denard Robinson’s absence from the football field should be short-lived.

On Monday, Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez said he expected his sophomore quarterback would play against Purdue this weekend (noon, Big Ten Network).

Robinson passed tests Sunday, and doctors cleared him to return to practice as early as Monday afternoon. He left Saturday’s game against Illinois at the start of the fourth quarter complaining of dizziness.

Rodriguez stopped short of saying that Robinson had suffered a concussion Monday, but said the quarterback had symptoms of one.

“That’d be a better way to put it,” he said. “He had signs or symptoms of not completely being there, headache, dizzy.”

Rodriguez said he takes no role in determining whether Robinson is ready to return.

“I leave it up to the trainers and doctors,” he said. “They tell us what’s going on and have a series of tests that they do. All I know is they said he had some dizziness and a headache and they wanted to hold him, so I said, ‘OK, next guy.’”

In relief, quarterback Tate Forcier entered the game and, despite losing a fumble on his first play, led the Wolverines to a dramatic 67-65 triple overtime win over the Illini.

The injury didn’t prevent Robinson from throwing for a career-high 305 yards on 10 of 20 passing. He also carried 19 times for 71 yards, which brought his season total to 1,349 rushing yards, best in the nation. He leads Oregon’s LaMichael James by 18 yards.

Saturday’s game was hardly the first time an injury has forced Robinson from a game this season. Although he’s started all nine games for the Wolverines this year, he’s only completed two contests in their entirety.

He’s played with a variety of nagging injuries, mainly a shoulder and knee injury, which still present some problems.

“He’s still getting some treatment on it, because if he gets nicked it still hurts a little,” Rodriguez said. “His arm felt a whole lot better, and he was a lot crisper with it, and he was running well too.

“I’m hoping this will be as good as he’s felt in weeks.”

Pete Bigelow covers the Michigan football team for He can be reached at (734) 623-2551, via email at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Tue, Nov 9, 2010 : 3:12 p.m.

"I believe most physicians would still place the patient's (athlete's) ahead of a coach's interest." Let's all hope so, but there sure are a lot of repeat incidences of concussion happening in college football. My thought on the subject was that RR or quite a few other head coaches might have some influence on the length of time a disagreeable physician might keep their job.


Tue, Nov 9, 2010 : 2:12 p.m.

Disagree strongly with WVtroll. Sports medicine is now a legitimate medical specialty. The docs know if he should/shouldn't play. I believe most physicians would still place the patient's (athlete's) ahead of a coach's interest. I suspect the MD making the call will get more pressure from DR than Very-Rick-Rod. Besides, with all the injuries Purdue has suffered, Tate & Co. should handle Purdue. Your problems BEGIN in 2 weeks: Wisconsin & tOSU. Go Bucks! Beat Michigan (again)!


Tue, Nov 9, 2010 : 11:47 a.m.

Marshall Applewhite: So let me get this straight. Although the doctors ran him through tests and determined that he's healthy enough to play against Purdue, your expert medical training says no. Tell me, how did you arrive at this conclusion, Doc? Has it occurred to you that people who work for U-M might feel some sort of pressure to help the U-M football team? I'm not even suggesting the consciously feel the pressure. Secondly, ALL of the recent literature on concussions indicate players are going back out TOO SOON. They're not "clear" just because they're no longer showing outward symptoms. Read up on it, I think you'll learn something.


Tue, Nov 9, 2010 : 11:42 a.m.

i hope DR can play but i also hope they don't take any chances... TATE can handle the boilermaker's... on a side note the ann arbor news has issued an amber alert for a child painted green with a big white s on his chest... should be easy to spot... GO BLUE...


Tue, Nov 9, 2010 : 9:22 a.m.

I think that we will beat Purdue by three touchdowns. We have good momentum now -- for the first time since beating Indiana.

Jonny Spirit

Tue, Nov 9, 2010 : 7:59 a.m.

Next Ann Arbor News headline will read, After another Purdue's Touchdown the band was hitting the biggest drum in the world and accidently hit Denard in the left little pinky finger and he sat out the second half. Then Tate will then lead Michigan to a 103 to 101 victory.


Tue, Nov 9, 2010 : 7:41 a.m.

Gotta express my feelings on this one. I doubt if a team physician would remain a team physician if he actually kept DR out of such an important game. And with RR's job on the line, I feel he'd prefer to have the option to play him. It's a crap shoot, and if nothing happens to DR during the Purdue game, all will be overlooked, but God forbid, if anything does happen then I feel RR would have someone to blame. The best scenario would be to have DR cleared to play and RR have the integrity to keep him on the sidelines for DR's sake and give him the extra week to heal. If he's cleared and does play, and does sustain another injury, I think most should review their feelings about how concerned RR really is about his players. Seems that Tate does a pretty good job when needed.


Tue, Nov 9, 2010 : 6:39 a.m.

Is it me or has denard lost a step? It appears hes been playing hurt for quite a few games now.

Marshall Applewhite

Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 10:28 p.m.

ArthGuinness, So let me get this straight. Although the doctors ran him through tests and determined that he's healthy enough to play against Purdue, your expert medical training says no. Tell me, how did you arrive at this conclusion, Doc?

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 10:11 p.m.

There's no helmet out there that makes a huge difference. But there is a more modern design with a more prominent jawpiece and often venting at the top that offers slightly better protection against certain types of blows. Many players feel the new design makes their heads look too big, so they choose the older design. From pictures, it looks like Robinson uses the old design and Forcier uses the new design. However... everyone agrees that the best way to reduce concussions is to teach proper tackling. It's also helping that players are getting penalized for blows to the head. Mouthguards are required. Chin pads are bigger. Concussion tests are becoming the norm when players show any sign of dizziness. I think everyone is taking concussions more seriously these days, and, while football is a violent sport and hard collisions are inevitable, these steps will have an impact on long-term health. Nothing, however, is going to rescue our poor castaway Robinson as the hits to the body accumulate.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 9:36 p.m.

When in the heck is the NCAA and the NFL going to get with the program and require anti-concussion helmets for all players? These helmuts are available. Yes, they're expensive, so? I think a lot of these officials have already lost their minds.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 9:14 p.m.

I like Denard, he is an explosive runner and a decent passer on the short to intermediate routes. He needs to develop more of a touch on the deep pass, if he can do that and we throw deep a couple times a game it will really open things up for him. I am concerned that he can't seem to make it through a game though. I wish he didn't run quite so much and we got more production out of the running backs. I thought Tate did a decent job altough he did take some chances going for the endzone when he had shorter routes available that could get the first down (poor decision on the intercepetion toward the end of the game as well). It seems like he is pressing to make a play when he is in there to show the coaches and fans he can play. I already believe he can play but this offense is based on a running QB and Denard is the better runner. I would love to see them both in at the same time. Tate at QB, DRob at slot and motion him through the backfield with the snap. It would give the d something to think about and you could do a lot of things off of it. Maybe Rich Rod is saving it for Ohio State or Wisconsin. I wouldn't reveal it for Purdue if he has something in mind. But they must beat Purdue this weekend.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 8:17 p.m.

Has Robinson missed time in eight different games now due to various injuries? Poor guy. He now has the body of a 40-year-old. A very fast 40-year-old. Running backs have the shortest NFL careers, by far. There's something about carrying the ball and getting pummeled 20-30 times a game that makes it hard to stay healthy.

Sean T.

Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 6:31 p.m.

Good point, ArthBguiness. Also, Denard's concussion would come into question by returning so quickly. I mean he really looked good during his time on the sideline, maybe RR will be playing both for the remainder of the year.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 5:34 p.m.

I would trust the doctors' opinion on this one if I were DR and RR. They're the experts. Denard should have a field day against Purdue's defense. Leading the nation in rushing is REALLY impressive. As he gets more experience and all the off-season work, you're going to see one amazing spread QB next season. Can't wait to see him play. Honestly, I never thought Denard would develop into a good college QB. My bad. Go Blue!


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 5:21 p.m.

It doesn't seem like a good idea to be playing just two days removed from "concussion symptoms". I would not mind seeing Tate and Denard rotate at this point. It will save Denard, and Tate has proven he can do the job. Remember when it was Threet and Sheridan trying to run the spread a few years ago?...We have come a long way.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 5:04 p.m.

I'm not convinced. He had some symptoms of a concussion but he's allowed to get back on the field just two days after? Better make sure no one touches him. From what I've read recently, they should really be 100% sure he is fully recovered, because suffering another concussion in a short time may cause permanent damage. And since there's no way to be 100% sure, they should simply rest him for a bit.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 5:02 p.m.

If only we had a defense!