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Posted on Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 8:12 p.m.

Wary of injuries, Michigan will limit some regulars in spring football game

By Dave Birkett

Michigan won’t hold any of its healthy regulars out of Saturday’s spring football game, but coach Rich Rodriguez said some of his “proven guys won’t play a lot of series.”

The Wolverines have been dealing with the injury bug all spring. Starters Mike Martin, Vincent Smith and David Molk have not participated in any contact drills, receiver Junior Hemingway returned on a limited basis for the first time Thursday, and a number of other key players suffered minor injuries in the last month.

“We want to put everybody in kind of a game-like environment,” Rodriguez said. “We’ll not have enough guys to, even though I’d like to eventually, be able to just put the squad up and have a true game. We still have to go offense and defense just simply because we don’t have enough guys and there’s a lot of guys we’re going to be moving in and out from the first group to the second group and so forth.”

Safety Vladimir Emilien (knee), tight end Kevin Koger (shoulder) and offensive guard Quinton Washington (undisclosed) took part in Michigan’s scrimmage last Saturday after missing time with injuries. Emilien, a sophomore who played sparingly last year, had been out since the first week of spring practice.

Rodriguez said he hopes Hemingway and fellow receiver Je’Ron Stokes, who’s missed much of the spring with an ankle injury, can take part in Michigan’s final two practices Thursday and Saturday.

Offensive tackle Perry Dorrestein, who’s battling redshirt freshman Taylor Lewan for the starting left tackle spot, and defensive lineman Renaldo Sagesse also missed practice Tuesday with undisclosed injuries.

Defensive end Will Heininger, who tore the ACL in his right knee earlier this spring, is scheduled to undergo surgery in two weeks.

Rodriguez said Molk, who underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL last fall, is ahead of schedule with his rehab according to trainers.

“I’m sure summer workouts he’ll be fully released,” Rodriguez said.

• Admission to Saturday’s game is free, but fans are encouraged to make a donation to Mott Children’s Hospital. Locker room tours are available from 6:30-8 p.m. Friday and 7-9:30 a.m Saturday, and the alumni flag football game begins at 11 a.m.

• Defensive end Adam Patterson has been practicing at nose tackle recently of injuries on the defensive line. "He’s probably one of our most explosive big guys," Rodriguez said. "In fact, he won the race when they raced a few weeks ago for all the big guys. So we put him in at nose a little bit and then he’ll play probably inside and outside."

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.



Wed, Apr 14, 2010 : 5:11 p.m.

I want to hear "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash blaring over the loudspeakers when the MSU football team takes the field in Ann Arbor this season. "I hear the train a-comin', it's rollin' 'round the bend, and I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't when...I'm stuck in Folsom Prison, and time keeps draggin' on........" LOL


Wed, Apr 14, 2010 : 12:55 p.m.

I agree with many supporters here in those critical 5 games with msu, ill, iowa, pur, and osu but also with the one poster that said, 'coulda, shoulda, woulda, however - as I said a month ago here, there were some games last year that one or two bad plays changed the game and we lost. So surely with experience on the younger guys and the vets coming back strong, it is logical to say instead of those bad plays, one or two great plays (in place of those) could bring a win. We were a lot closer to 10 wins last year than many people think. So why not do it this year, you bettcha - Go Blue!


Wed, Apr 14, 2010 : 10:45 a.m.

I think that the turning point in the season was the Iowa game, with more than a min left and 20 to go to be in FG range Rich Rod pulled Tate and D Rob throws a dumb pass he didnt need to make. There was plenty of time. This is not the reason we didnt make it to a bowl but it would have been an easy way to get into one. Theres lots of reasons we didnt get in and I think everybody knows them. this year will be different we have taken care of many of those problems and some of those problems have taken care of themselves i.e. youth, depth and inexperance. The last two min's of the Iowa game is the only thing I blamed coach for last year.


Wed, Apr 14, 2010 : 10:02 a.m.

There is no way around it,losing molk was devastating for our offense because the following week Mooseman,playing center, missed a block on a LB and the LB took a bead on Forciers shoulder and caused a deep bruise that bothered him for the rest of the year.RR thought (told us ) that Drob was going to be an adequate backup and he was a disaster.Many of hte close games shouldn't have been close if we had a health QB.Drob aside we now have Gardner who represents a new era.The entire team is now at lest two deep and when the freshman arrive we will be three deep.For the last two years we had only 70 schollies and had no depth.Now we are approaching 82-85.Teams like Penn State and OSU have all americans sitting on their bench just waiting for a chance.We never had that luxury.Maybe we will this year because injuries are a part of football.

Terry Star21

Wed, Apr 14, 2010 : 9:33 a.m.

Rodriguez is a genuis trying Patterson at nose guard with his explosiveness/speed. I reading there, where RichRod was saying about not,...'beating ourselves...' in games and a commenter here was saying about the close games with illinois, iowa, purdue and osu - all with game changing turnovers. Forgot msu, Tate threw an interception in OT, and next series msu stumbled into the endzone for 365 more obnoxious bragging days. All 5 of those games could have gone either way. Point is, with the experience of the newcomers and the motivation of the returning vets, those will be 5 more wins this year - 10-2 at worst, iowa and wisconsin spoilers. So when naysayers, ask what Michigan is so excited about and why we are so hopeful this year - we know, but they still have no clue. Michigan 10-2 at worst..... msu fires coach, osu coach fired for running out on field.


Wed, Apr 14, 2010 : 9:12 a.m.

we do need to have a good season this year. there is no room for excuses this year. we need to support the coaches and players. they will need us this year. we will do better. we need to get to a bowl game and if we can beat osu that's great to. but we have to get behind the players, they are the ones that count. go blue


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 11:35 p.m.

grantwstephens, now that is good news. People forget much to soon how close a lot of those games were. No, I am not a shouda', coulda', woulda person, but golly. Rountree gets tackled on the 1 yard line @ Ill., and we we're just about to put the game away. Many legitimate sources say that turned the season around. We were driving for the winning score against Iowa, and - interception. We missed an extra point against Purdue, had to go for 2 points to tie and missed with time winding down. Fumble on our own 1 yard line against osu, threw a 4th quarter interception at the 10, lose by 11. Yes, I know people would say I'm dreaming - but what happens if we don't make those mistakes and "beat ourselves" as Coach says - we got 4 really, I men 4 really good chances for wins. That's why you see so much hope here, we are improving and the anticipation is making us all wild, ehr, I mean 'All in for Michigan'. Anyway, got to get to bed, glad I stayed up late to read your writings - made my day.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 11:10 p.m.

By the way this is this is the first spring that Rich Rod has not called the Offense, "a work in progress" or said that, "we're not looking to great". Now hes saying, he expects us to be able to seriously compete but were still not good enough to beat ourselves with turnovers and sloppy play. I dont know if others look into that kind of thing like me. All I'm saying is if Rich Rod finally likes it I think its great news.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 10:41 p.m.

People need to stop being so negative about Michigan's D. and Rich Rod. At this point, we need to be positive and support the system and the players. Rich Rod is not going to get fired this year. We get enough bad publicity; the last place we need it is from the fans. On a seperate note, I think that D Rob is really growing as a QB. It will be fun to see how he and Tate will run the O this year TOGETHER. Who cares who starts they will both play and this year everytime D Rob comes in it wont be a designed run (thank God). Also, Tate has added some weight to be able to take the punishment that the Big Ten deals. I'm really looking forward to watching the O this year. We Have a solid line as long as Molk can stay healthy. We dont need to add 8-10 bad snaps in a game like last year. We are loaded at RB and the WR position will have improved as we only lost our #2 Reciever. Ontop of all that we have depth to stay fresh. There is lots to look forward to in Rich Rod's third year. Theres a good chance with the extra depth and experance that michigan can finish first in the big ten in scoring, after finishing in third and only trailing #1 Wisconsin by 2.3 ppg. Worst case 7-5 best case 10-2, I'm going to stick with 8-4. All in for Michigan


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 9:15 p.m.

An article about Michigan injuries here, turning into an osu issue, go figure? Those little buckcorns are really hurting here. No one to cheer for, support - hey let's go jump on the Champions who stayed. BowlForBlue.... don't argue with osu/msu/other losers, your just getting them to come back and use what little intelligence they can muster up. Read their bashing comments - yes, they were born after 2001, you can't win an aguement with a little kid, remember! Now I am sad to hear about the injuries mentioned here in this article, I too would rather not see them at the spring game if questionable. Coach will know what to do, remember - amid all this controversy, he stayed, and became Champion of College football. Go Blue!


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 9:01 p.m.

Fact is, it just became a rivalry in 2001, before that UM 13-3, (87'-00) - no one mentioned osu, no one even cared. Fact is, the only one bringing up osu on the Michigan articles now, are jealous smuckeyes. Fact is, I want it to be a rivalry - but unfortunately, osu has just run out of luck!


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 8:53 p.m.

jaxon5, It is over, WEST ARBOR just has excuses. Those who stay will be... in violation.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 8:30 p.m.

The day the subject of Michigan football has nothing to do with Ohio State football, is the day the rivalry is dead.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 8:12 p.m.

I don't see what this article has to do with osu, they were walking on thin ice last winter, treading water this spring and hiding under leaves this fall - and like msu, that leaf pile is getting run over by the Wolverine steam roller. Mentioning osu, means where getting many scared smuckeyes viewing our sites. This article has to do about not pushing athletes into a spring game that are injured or hurting. If osu wants to hide their injuries, and push those players into a spring game, if feel sorry for the players.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:57 p.m.

At the Columbus Dispatch OSU football page, today's story is about how the young players need to step up to fill the void left by graduation. Interestingly, they don't talk about not having enough players to go around due to injury or graduation. Rather, they talk about how the players will rise to the challenge. Depth is not an issue for them. Attrition is not a problem. Injury is irrelevant to OSU performance on the field.

Terry Star21

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:36 p.m.

Tough to hear about all the injuries... must be from the long winter layoff, and not being allowed to condition properly during that time - like the other Big Ten teams do. Anyway, here's hoping Vincent and Molk get some needed recovery time over the summer and come back healthy - and Saturday, we'll take what ever RichRod, our king, runs out on the field. Next spring Coach RichRod, with the alumni players game, and the spring game - I want to see a coaches 15 minute flag game. Your guys, Mo, Carr, other past coaches and we'll invite Shemy to play - this could overload the Stadium capacity with fans and bring in the fire marshal's.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:28 p.m.

I just read that Michigan has the most returning starters of any Big Ten team - 18 returning starters. (see Big Ten Prospectus) So, the excuses used heavily during the last 2 seasons are now gone. I don't want to hear the words "youth" or "inexperience" this season.