Just a quick note on reported injuries from both teams heading into Saturday's games.
Michigan looks to be in considerably better shape than MSU going in (!KNOCK ON WOOD!).
Michigan tailback Chris Evans is questionable Saturday and WR Grant Perry is now probable.
Notable injuries for MSU include starting offensive guard/tackle David Beedle-59 and starting cornerback Darian Hicks-2.
True freshman Thiyo Lukusa (6-5, 335 lbs) will likely be Beedle's replacement?
Jehu Chesson had an outstanding Citrus Bowl, torching Vernon Hargreaves several times throughout the game and looking like a future Biletnikoff winner and first-round NFL pick.
But somehow, somewhere, in the course of that game, Chesson also suffered an injury that apparently still lingers nearly nine months later.
I have found the play where his injury occurs. It was on a blocking assignment, which is perhaps why it wasn't immediately obvious during or after the game.
If you watch the Citrus Bowl from 1:29:22, you'll start at Chesson's 47-yard post route catch against Hargreaves. On the very next play, Chesson lines up wide to the right and his blocking assignment is Hargreaves.
The play takes the camera away from Chesson's side of the field, but you can see him spring into his block and then do a hop.
As he comes off the field, Harbaugh looks at him and says "Cramp? Did you get a cramp?"
The broadcast then makes note of Chesson on the sideline. He's walking on two feet, but something clearly feels weird. Chesson does not take the field again after that play.
At Signing of the Stars, almost exactly one month later, Chesson was on crutches.
He was not at full strength (obviously) at the start of spring practice, and by some account did not participate at all but Harbaugh said he competed with Darboh all spring for the role of top receiver.
In March, Chesson was off crutches and in a brace fielding darts from the Juggs machine.
He still wasn't practicing at the end of March.
Then there was no news for three months.
Asked if Chesson has been a full participant in voluntary offseason 7 on 7 drills, Michigan corner Jourdan Lewis says he's been able to do some things.
"He's doing a little something," Lewis said. "He's still trying to rehab. But he's still fast, if that's what (people) are worried about. But he's going out there and running those routes with us now."
But at the August 3 Jumpman press conference, Harbaugh was noncommital about Chesson's status to begin camp.
Some educated guesses:
1. The injury was to his knee (as opposed to foot or ankle).
2. It was not a devastating, Marcus Lattimore-type injury.
3. Chesson is in the submarine.
Hopefully the prognosis is full strength by the end of the nonconference schedule, at the latest.
Beilein on LeVert: "I want to be clear about something with Caris. Nothing is clear."
Beilein says LeVert will get out there when he's ready, "I need everybody to back off, stop projecting. Thank you."
Seriously, what the hell is going on? He was cleared, now he's not? How do we just know absolutely nothing about this injury?
Beilein gets paid millions of dollars to coach this team, and he needs to be accountable to the media when our star player is out for weeks with a mysterious injury.
Antwaan Randle El, one of the best players in B1G history, and arguably Indiana's finest football player, now wishes he had played baseball instead of football.
"I ask my wife things over and over again, and she's like, 'I just told you that,'" Randle El said to the newspaper. "I'll ask her three times the night before and get up in the morning and forget. Stuff like that. I try to chalk it up as I'm busy, I'm doing a lot, but I have to be on my knees praying about it, asking God to allow me to not have these issues and live a long life. I want to see my kids raised up. I want to see my grandkids."
Wow, if this isn't a damning indictment on where things might be headed with former players.
I still love Michigan football, but when Ditka said he wouldn't let his own kid play football, that convinced me that the sport might be in trouble in the long term.
Eight games in to the season Michigan is getting a little banged up:
Of particular note: Rudock (ribs), D. Smith (ankle), W. Henry (undisclosed), J.Butt (undisclosed).
|11/01/15||WR||Brian Cole||Undisclosed||"?" Saturday vs. Rutgers|
|11/01/15||RB||De'Veon Smith||Ankle||injured last game, "?" Saturday vs. Rutgers|
|11/01/15||WR||Drake Harris||Ankle||"?" Saturday vs. Rutgers|
|11/01/15||WR||Freddy Canteen||Undisclosed||"?" Saturday vs. Rutgers|
|11/01/15||TE||Jake Butt||Undisclosed||injured last game, "?" Saturday vs. Rutgers|
|11/01/15||RB||Wyatt Shallman||Undisclosed||"?" Saturday vs. Rutgers|
|11/01/15||QB||Jake Rudock||Ribs||injured last game, "?" Saturday vs. Rutgers|
|11/01/15||DL||Mario Ojemudia||Achilles||"?" Saturday vs. Rutgers|
|11/01/15||LB||Mike McCray||Undisclosed||"?" Saturday vs. Rutgers|
|11/01/15||DL||Willie Henry||Undisclosed||injured last game, probable Saturday vs. Rutgers|
|10/11/15||TE||Tyrone Wheatley||Undisclosed||out indefinitely|
|09/11/15||OL||Logan Tuley-Tillman||Dismissed||dismissed from team|
|08/27/15||DT||Bryan Mone||Leg||out indefinitely|
Rutger's injury list is more extensive, including star WR Leonte Carroo.
According to Mark Dantonio, MSU injuries are not going to be used as a crutch (i.e., excuse) for their poor play. To paraphrase:
"Injuries are not an excuse. To be clear though, we do have a lot of injuries. So if we were to lose this week, we should be allowed to claim injuries as the main reason, but we won't, because that would be excusing the loss because of injuries, which we don't or won't do, becuase we don't use injuries as excuses...but we have tons of injuries."
Link below; It's Drew Sharp and its drivel. FL;DR (freep link; didn't click): Michigan State is very injured but not going to use injuries as an excuse (Spoiler: They are setting up the injury excuse).
This has been the common narrative throughout the last two weeks. Not an excuse, but we are super injured. Just to pull some quotes from the linked to drivel:
"Pardon the pun," coach Mark Dantonio said Saturday night following the Spartans' 31-24 win, "but we can't use it as a crutch."
"He was hurting out there, and everybody recognized it," Dantonio said about Kieler's determination. "We tried to get him out a little bit, but I know that he wound up playing at the end as well. He's a tough guy, and he just kept playing."
"You keep thinking to yourself that it can't get any worse, and then it does," said middle linebacker Riley Bullough.
IMO I can see it getting worse next week. But to be clear, if it does, it has nothing to do with injuries.