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October 1, 2008

Two injured Wolverines out for Illinois

Chris Balas
Rivals.com College Football
Senior Editor
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said two offensive contributors would miss the Wolverines' homecoming game with Illinois on Saturday.

The injuries and other issues are forcing Michigan to shuffle its lineup a bit this week.

"We're playing around with Mark Ortmann at left guard [previously at left tackle] and Perry Dorrestein at left tackle," Rodriguez said. "Tim McAvoy can play a couple positions, Mark Huyge is back, so we're healthier there.

"Unfortunately, at the skill positions we're not. [Receiver] Junior Hemingway is out for several weeks with mono, which is just a bad break for him. [Running back] Carlos Brown, who can't seem to get healthy unfortunately for himself, is out for some time with a foot sprain. They've just had bad luck, so they're both out for this game. We're scrambling there."

Rodriguez said he still wasn't certain who would start on the line against Illinois. Redshirt sophomore John Ferrara started at left guard in place of McAvoy in a 27-25 win over Wisconsin, but was replaced after struggling in the first half.

Defensive tackle Terrance Taylor sported a protective cast on his wrist at Wednesday's practice but is "fine," Rodriguez insisted. Starting defensive tackle Will Johnson and starting cornerback Donovan Warren also sported green non-contact jerseys, indicating they'd be limited.

"We've got a lot of guys defensively that are bumped and bruised and weren't able to go defensively," Rodriguez said.

Receiver Greg Mathews is still nursing an ankle injury but is expected to play.

Rodriguez also said to expect a bigger role in the offense for junior running back Brandon Minor. Minor provided one of the big plays against the Badgers with a 34-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

"He's obviously been healthier the last couple of weeks and he's practiced pretty hard. His role will continue to increase," Rodriguez said. "We've got Mike Shaw back [from injury] and Kevin Grady in there so we've got four backs now, counting Sam (McGuffie) that we'll roll in and out."

Chris Balas, managing editor of TheWolverine.com, has missed only one Wolverines home game since 1983. Balas a Michigan grad has been covering Wolverines football professionally since 1997.
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