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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Free Press:

Brown, a sophomore from Franklin, Ga., broke his hand in practice this week and is expected to have surgery today.

“He’s really disappointed,” said Tim Barron, Brown’s high school coach at Franklin Heard County. “But he’s very upbeat.”
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.

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.