Wary of injuries, Michigan will limit some regulars in spring football game
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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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 AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.