Last week when Justin Turner decided to leave the Michigan football program, I wrote that with depth so thin at cornerback, the Wolverines would really be in trouble if something happened to a starter like Troy Woolfolk. Well, unfortunately something has happened to Woolfolk, as this statement was released tonight by head coach Rich Rodriguez.
Troy Woolfolk suffered a lower body injury during practice this afternoon and was transported to U-M Hospital with our team physician. We can’t comment further due to medical privacy rights.
The rumor from this afternoon was that Woolfolk seriously injured his ankle and could potentially be out for the season. Considering whatever he did was bad enough that a trip to the hospital was necessary, it certainly sounds like he is severely hurt.
Right now I just hope Woolfolk is able to recover from this injury and this isn't a situation like Michigan fans saw with Antonio Bass years ago (he tore his knee apart in a non-contact situation and never played football again). At the same time, it does leave me wondering what to expect out of the secondary this coming season if Woolfolk is in fact out for the year. The secondary, as previously mentioned, was in bad enough shape already with Turner leaving last week, but as bad as that was, he was only a backup. Woolfolk is a starter and a leader and losing him is an enormous blow to the secondary and the defense as a whole.
At cornerback, J.T. Floyd would be Michigan's top starter with Woolfolk out of the picture. That leaves the other spot likely to be filled by a true freshman, which by itself is scary enough. To make matters worse is that beyond Floyd and a true freshman like Cullen Christian or Courtney Avery, Michigan doesn't really have any starting-caliber players waiting in the wings if someone else were to go down.
At this point, things are looking extremely bad on paper for Michigan's secondary and the defense in general. One player certainly doesn't make or break a team, but losing Woolfolk leaves me with little hope of the defense being anything beyond average this year. Actually, I have a hard time seeing the defense be anything other than mediocre, especially going up against the pass. I hope Michigan proves me wrong, but with the way the defense is now, even a bowl game is starting to look unlikely.
Concerns about the 2010 season aside, my thoughts are with Woolfolk, because it certainly seems as though he suffered a serious injury today.