ANN ARBOR, Mich. — If you’ve been keeping up with the news the last few days, you might have forgotten there’s a football game on the schedule for Saturday.
Michigan has made the trek east to play annual division opponent Rutgers for a prime-time game in Piscataway, N.J. (7:30 p.m., Big Ten Network). The Wolverines were 26-point betting favorites at last check, suggesting another route could be in the works. Jim Harbaugh’s team is 8-0 for just the second time in his tenure, and checked in at No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings released earlier this week.
We have plenty of content at mlive.com/wolverines to get you ready for Saturday, including all the latest on the fallout from last weekend’s tunnel incident with Michigan State. Our predictions are also up.
You might be wondering, however, what the injury report looks like. Here’s the latest intel from our reporting this week.
OL Trente Jones — Michigan’s starting right tackle dressed for last weekend’s game against Michigan State but never appeared, suggesting a return is near. Jones suffered a high-ankle sprain four weeks ago in the win over Indiana, an injury that can take some time to recover from. Jones would be a welcome addition back to an already rolling offensive line, but it’s possible to think the coaching staff could hold him out one more week as a precaution.
CB Gemon Green — The center of the tunnel melee last week, Green was in concussion protocol after taking a shot to the head by a helmet-weilding MSU player, his attorney revealed earlier this week. Concussions create a delicate balance, and even if Green is cleared to play this weekend, the pending police investigation may factor in as well. We’d be surprised to see Green suit up against Rutgers, but we’re not ready to rule him out.
CB Ja’Den McBurrows — Same goes for McBurrows, who hasn’t appeared in a game yet this season but was in uniform against the Spartans. McBurrows took a few punches and kicks in the tunnel attack, although his injury status is unknown. Even if he is dressed, the chances of him seeing the field are small.
QB Cade McNamara — We thought there was a chance Michigan’s former starter-turned-backup might suit up last week for the rivalry game. Alas, McNamara was still in street clothes, although he was active in pregame warmups.
LB Nikhai Hill-Green — This absence is beginning to feel like a season-long thing, with Hill-Green (soft tissue) still not dressing after sitting out all eight games. Michigan could be setting up for a medical redshirt situation, because even if Hill-Green makes a return, it’s going to take him some time to get back up to game speed.
TE Erick All — Michigan’s starting tight end had “life-changing” season-ending surgery during the bye, ruling him out for the rest of the season.
DB/ST Caden Kolesar — The special teams star suffered an ACL tear sprinting down the field during a punt return against Iowa, sidelining him for the rest of the way.
LS William Wagner — We don’t have the particulars on this one, but Michigan’s top long snapper also suffered a season-ending injury against Iowa. Greg Tarr has been filling in ever since.
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