Michigan expects Robinson to play at Minnesota
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan, it seems, got a scare and not a long-term problem when Denard Robinson injured a nerve in his right elbow against Nebraska.
"He should be fine," Wolverines coach Brady Hoke said Monday. "He should be ready to go on Saturday."
The unranked Wolverines (5-3, 3-1 Big Ten) will play their second straight road game this week at Minnesota (5-3, 1-3)
Michigan lost its one dimension on offense in a 23-9 loss Saturday to Nebraska when Robinson was running for a first down. He cut back for extra yards instead of going out of bounds and aggravating a nerve in his elbow that he injured earlier this month against Illinois.
"It gets numb and tingly," Hoke said.
The team's medical staff is working on protective equipment that Robinson can wear in an attempt to prevent his throwing arm from getting banged up again in the same spot.
Hoke fully expects Robinson to practice enough to be prepared to face the Golden Gophers. And unlike players at other positions, Hoke said Robinson has to practice to play.
Just in case, though, Hoke said converted receiver Devin Gardner will get more snaps during the week.
"We will do that as a precautionary thing," Hoke said.
And, because backup quarterback Russell Bellomy didn't make the most of his first chance to play a lot. The Cornhuskers' defense, and Michigan's inability to run if Robinson isn't carrying the ball, had a lot to do with it.
Bellomy, who started off with 10 straight incomplete passes, was 3 of 16 for 38 yards with three interceptions. His first 10 attempts were incomplete passes was sacked three times and lost as many yards rushing as he gained on five carries.
Wolverines offensive tackle Taylor Lewan was quick to defend the battered Bellomy, saying he has "100-percent faith," in him get thrown into a road game against the blitz-happy Cornhuskers after playing sparingly in three games earlier in the year.
"It's a tough spot to be in," Lewan said. "I really don't appreciate some of things I heard."
Michigan trailed 7-3 late in the first half when Bellomy replaced Robinson and despite his problems, Hoke insisted that he didn't consider putting Gardner in during a game.
Gardner was recruited by former coach Rich Rodriguez to play quarterback. Gardner moved to receiver last spring to get on the field instead of spending another season watching Robinson from the sideline. He leads the team with four touchdown receptions and ranks second with 16 receptions for 266 yards.
Hoke said Gardner, who has been slowed but not kept out of games by ankle and shoulder injuries, has thrown "enough" when asked how much he has worked on his passing in practice this season.
Four Wolverines have attempted a pass this year and Gardner isn't one of them. He threw passes in seven games last season and finished 11 of 23 for 176 yards with a TD and an interception.
Hoke made it clear he hasn't lost hope in Bellomy, saying the offensive line and running backs could've helped him out by blocking better, and that all wasn't loss during his trial-by-blitz night at Nebraska.
"The experience that he gained going into that environment is a major help to anybody," Hoke said.
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