Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson left the Wolverines’ game versus Illinois late in the third quarter with what appeared to be a hand injury. Television replays and close-ups showed that Robinson banged his throwing hand on an Illinois player’s helmet who was rushing the quarterback.
Devin Gardner took over at quarterback and led the Michigan offense to a field goal and two touchdowns, as the Wolverines beat the Fighting Illini, 31-14.
Was Robinson’s injury serious, however? According to head coach Brady Hoke (via Detroit News reporter Angelique Chengelis), Robinson suffered a bruised wrist and could have returned to the game, if needed.
That would seem to indicate that taking Robinson out was more of a cautionary measure, perhaps to prevent further injury. No word on whether or not Robinson was having trouble gripping the football or anything like that. Robinson also briefly left the game earlier when he appeared to fall hard on his right arm while being tackled.
Another consideration may have been that the Michigan offense was moving well with Gardner at quarterback. Hoke and offensive coordinator Al Borges may have wanted to go with the hot hand, especially since the offense struggled for most of the game as Robinson was once again inconsistent in throwing the football.
Hoke insisting that Robinson could have returned to the game may have been an attempt to thwart any burgeoning quarterback controversy. Some Michigan fans have been eager for Gardner to get more playing time as Robinson seems to be getting worse each week as a passer. However, making a change with two games left in the season seems unlikely. And it’s not like Gardner played flawlessly.
Regardless, Robinson’s status will certainly be worth keeping an eye on throughout next week as Michigan prepares to host Nebraska.