Will Heininger Injury

Submitted by Raback Omaba on April 5th, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Junior DE Will Heininger tore his ACL in practice last week. He will be out for however long it takes to heal and rehab an ACL injury, which to the best of my knowledge is a substantial period of time.

Will is a walk on from Ann Arbor Pioneer High School and worked his way into the playing rotation over the past few years. While many might see "Walk On" and be relieved, don't be. Will has worked hard and practiced on this team against some heavy hitters (Graham, Martin, RVB) and has transformed into a solid contributor.

He learned from the best and was expected to be a significant part of the rotation on the line in his Senior year. He would have added significant depth on defense and would have been a solid contributer, something that this defense desperately needs.

Will is the consummate Michigan Man. While he will be sidelined with an injury, expect his impact to be amplified through strong leadership and support of his teammates. He is an upperclassman who learned from Brandon Graham, so he will undoubtedly be a strong contributor this year whether it's on the field or in a leadership role.

Let's all wish Will a speedy recovery - I am predicting that he provides significant leadership and support while he's injured, and then recover in time to provide a huge shot in the arm to a team that will be playing for the Big Ten Championship come October/November.



April 5th, 2010 at 11:57 AM ^

That's too bad.

This must be the injury Rivals hinted at a couple days ago.

Hopefully he can recover quickly and lead a healthy life. I'm glad ACL reconstruction has come so far in the last 20 years or so.


April 5th, 2010 at 12:13 PM ^

Hopefully he recovers quickly, he played really hard last year. Even though he isn't as talented you have to respect someone that plays hard and tries to help the team.


April 5th, 2010 at 12:19 PM ^

I have no idea of recovery times for ACL tears, but is it reasonable for anyone to expect him back by October/November as the OP hopes for? I'll take him contributing to the rotation, but I wonder if that is feasible.


April 5th, 2010 at 12:28 PM ^

Not sure of the man's status, but if he wants to keep playing at Michigan he won't be back. If this is it for him regardless and he is moving on I could see Rod letting him suit up in a ceremonial role, but he will be in no condition to play meaningful football by November. He is not B. Graham and going to to be able to be out 6 months and walk on a field and contribute after all this.

It's a terrible blow, I hate when stuff happens to guys in their last year. I still get sick thinking about B. Minor having to sit on the sidelines for the OSU game.

Hopefully he has more time or is going to grad school and he can come back next year fully healthy and be a contributor his last year.


April 5th, 2010 at 12:22 PM ^

We need the depth too. It's so very unfortunate to hear of a player going down with one of these injuries in practice.

I know plenty of kids I played football with, who their last play ever was in practice. It's tough to cope with and I wish him the best.


April 5th, 2010 at 12:30 PM ^

It undoubtedly hurts the depth at DE, but depending on how much we play the 3-3-5, it might not matter THAT much. The two defensive ends in a 3-3-5 are almost like defensive tackles, so guys like Banks, Martin, and Sagesse could play the DE positions.

Anyway, I'm not saying the injury doesn't matter, but its effects might be lessened by the defense we play.


April 5th, 2010 at 12:25 PM ^

With an ACL tear, I'm willing to chalk the next year up at a loss. If he isn't 100%, why rush him?

Best to him. It's usually a good thing to see a walkon earn some PT. Usually.

Raback Omaba

April 5th, 2010 at 12:26 PM ^

Let's not talk about the sky falling etc.

An ACL injury is bad, but it doesn't mean he won't see the football field ever again.

He'll be back and will be an on field contributer to this team.


April 5th, 2010 at 12:28 PM ^

He wasn't going to be a starter, but might have been on the two deep. This hurts our depth. Hopefully we don't have any more injuries on the D line. Is Sagesse the only one with any real playing time?


April 5th, 2010 at 2:27 PM ^

I was excited by the depth we were building and by the fact that he got some solid PT last season. Hope he'll be back in form ASAP. We've got games to win this season and next. Thanks for the info, Raback.


April 5th, 2010 at 8:07 PM ^

...Or does it seem like our injury woes have only worsened over the past couple years? I am a huge Barwis fan, but I thought one of his main mantras was injury prevention. Sucks to seemingly be victims of circumstance.

Good luck, Will, on a full and speedy recovery.


April 5th, 2010 at 8:43 PM ^

Nothing short of magic is going to prevent football players from tearing ACLs.

We haven't seen many muscle injuries since Barwis arrived (pulled hamstrings, strained pecs, torn biceps, etc.), which is really the best you can hope for.

Joint injuries are always going to happen.