Brown, a sophomore from Franklin, Ga., broke his hand in practice this week and is expected to have surgery today.There's no timetable given for his return, but a broken hand doesn't seem like a season-ending injury if past experiences -- like Tim Massaquoi's -- are any indication. (Hopefully the coaches won't start Brown and throw him three balls a game he understandably drops.) He might be okay for a midseason return.
“He’s really disappointed,” said Tim Barron, Brown’s high school coach at Franklin Heard County. “But he’s very upbeat.”
As far as impact: Michigan is now frighteningly thin at tailback. Hart and Minor are one and two; true freshman Avery Horn is now the only other healthy tailback on the roster. Hart's been an adamantium workhorse two of his three seasons but was a frustrated observer for large sections of the Year of Infinite Pain. He's not indestructible. Also damaged: Michigan's prospects for an interesting return game. Brown was thought to be the frontrunner at KR and possibly PR; now Doug Dutch, Greg Mathews, and an array of true freshmen will duke it out. Hopefully Dutch can grab the job -- no offense to Mathews, but I didn't want to see Jason Avant return punts either.
There is the possibility of a redshirt here, which would probably be good for class balance purposes. Grady's enforced redshirt with his own medical issue has created a knot of three backs who will have junior eligibility next year. It would be good to get Brown an extra year so that the turnover isn't so great after '08. A lack of depth could nix that, however. Kevin Grady's rehab also becomes more important in case there are late-season injuries to Minor and/or Hart.