Michigan football: Injury updates, position switch, more – MLive.com

  • September 30, 2022

Michigan Wolverines linebacker Nikhai Hill-Green (41) returns to the locker room after Michigan lost to Georgia in the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021.Jacob Hamilton | The Ann Arbor News
A pair of sidelined players for Michigan football could be game-time decisions Connecticut, bringing the Wolverines closer to full strength.
Linebacker Nikhai Hill-Green and offensive lineman Karsen Barnhart, both held out of Michigan’s 56-10 win over Hawaii last weekend, could return for Saturday for the team’s non-conference finale (Noon, ABC), Jim Harbaugh revealed Monday night.
“I’m kind of hopeful that they’ll both be back for this game,” Harbaugh said on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show. “We’ll see. What’s that — questionable? Probable? Somewhere between questionable and probable.”
Hill-Green, who’s missed the first two games this season with a soft-tissue injury, was in uniform and available to play for Michigan against Hawaii, but coaches and staff opted to hold him out. Barnhart was not available after exiting the season opener against Colorado State with a sprained right ankle.
More: Even after two dominant games, U-M football has ideas for improvement
Michigan has tried out two different players at inside linebacker, Kalel Mullings and Michael Barrett, to help replace Hill-Green, who started six games last year. Barnhart is the team’s top reserve lineman, with the ability to fill-in at tackle or guard.
Elsewhere on the injury front, Harbaugh revealed Tuesday morning during an interview on WXYT-FM 97.1 “The Ticket” in Detroit that running back Donovan Edwards has been dealing with an injury “for the better part of a couple of weeks now,” putting in doubt his availability for Saturday.
If he’s unable to go, expect true freshman C.J. Stokes and redshirt freshman Tavierre Dunlap to share carries with Donovan Edwards.
As things stand currently, Michigan sits a 46 1/2-point favorite against UConn.
POSITION SWAP? It remains unclear whether this is a permanent move, but redshirt freshman defensive tackle Dominick Giudice made the move over to offensive line last week, even appearing briefly in the victory over Hawaii.
And yes, it was another Harbaugh idea.
“Dom’s dad texted me and said, ‘Great move.’ And then we went to the practice field and, in one day, it was like, ‘Man, I’m not a very smart guy,’” Harbaugh said laughingly. “It took me a year to think of this? I’ve never seen a guy pick it up that fast. And then he played (against Hawaii).
“Tuesday he makes the switch, and Saturday night he’s pulling,” Harbaugh continued. “He’s making calls at the right guard (spot). Now, the center (Raheem Anderson) was probably telling him what call to make, but he’s making calls, he’s pass protecting, doing stuff. It’s like, I wish I had been a little smarter and thought of that a little sooner.”
TWO-WAY PLAY: Freshman receiver Amorion Walker saw snaps on both sides of the ball against Hawaii, including run at defensive back as part of a new two-way role for him, Harbaugh said.
“He’s got special, unique abilities in terms of athleticism,” Harbaugh said. “That’s something that he wants to do, and is smart enough to do it.
“You saw that play out on Saturday night. He had extended snaps on defense, and I thought he did really well. He’s got a bright future, right now, being a two-way player.”
Read more on Michigan football:
What’s next for Cade McNamara? Michigan’s backup QB has options
Donovan Edwards’ status unclear ahead of UConn
Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers past very similar to Michigan’s QB present
Remember Harbaugh’s starting QB criteria? J.J. McCarthy crushed it
Snap counts, PFF grades: McCarthy lights it up in first start
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