The Wolverine

November 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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A ny football player, trainer, coach, etc., will tell you there's a differ- ence between playing injured and playing hurt. The former is some- thing no trainer or coach at Michigan would do, regardless of how sophomore quarterback Shane Morris' "probable minor concus - sion" and ankle injury ver- sus Minnesota was spun. Separating the two, though, hasn't been easy for many analysts and talking heads, and it reached its peak during U-M's 18-13 win over Penn State. ESPN analyst Rod Gilmore questioned whether fifth-year senior quarterback Devin Gard - ner should have been allowed back on the field after injuring his ankle on a quarterback sneak and being replaced for two series by redshirt junior Russell Bellomy. He wasn't the only one singing this off-key tune in the first half of the year. "It's not okay to leave Morris in even if it was just a leg," one local reporter tweeted. "It wasn't okay to let Gardner play with a broken bone in his foot [last year against Ohio State]. It's not okay to keep [junior wide receiver] Devin Funchess in at Notre Dame." We're guessing he was particularly aghast when Gardner had his ankle taped, toughed it out and led his team to a win it might not have secured without him. Those who have actually played the game, though, couldn't have been prouder. "This is not to dismiss severity of head injuries, but Devin did not have a questionable hit to the head," former Michigan All-Big Ten offensive line - man Doug Skene said. "He hurt his leg, but he wanted to play for his teammates." Boy, did he. "There's a team out there that needs me," Gardner said after the game. "They said that they needed me, and it's much bigger than myself." The trainers, led by the highly re - spected and unquestionably ethical Paul Schmidt, didn't simply nod and say, "Okay." "Here's how it works," Skene ex - plained. "Once it's determined that the injury cannot get worse, they tape it up, put a brace on it or whatever they do, and then it's up to the player to decide how much pain they can play through. That's part of football. Forever that's been part of football." INSIDE MICHIGAN   CHRIS BALAS It's About Toughness Fifth-year senior quarter- back Devin Gardner injured his ankle against Penn State Oct. 11, but played through the pain and led U-M to an 18-13 victory. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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