Speight making strides, could play again this season
Written by Matt Pargoff   

From the start of the Wilton Speight injury saga, Jim Harbaugh declined to say that his starting quarterback was definitively done for the season. At his press conference on Monday, the head coach went a step further, opening the door for a return in the final stretch run.

“Yes, there is,” Harbaugh said, when asked if Speight had a chance to return, “I think there are more second opinions to be had, but I know Wilton is really excited about his most recent CT scan. It’s kind of stunned him.”

Speight went down in the Wolverines’ win at Purdue on Sept. 23 when Boilermaker defensive lineman Eddy Wilson crashed down on his head and neck after the quarterback had already been taken down.

Harbaugh later confirmed the injury as fractured vertebrae in Speight’s spine.

“This might sound over the top, but I think some doctors are stunned it’s so far along,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “He’s healing well. Young guys can do that sometimes. They’ve got good blood flowing throughout their body. They’re young, they’re healthy, and he’s healing fast.”

After Speight’s initial injury, John O’Korn entered to lead the Michigan offense, but he was pulled during his fourth start against Rutgers. Brandon Peters entered that game to lead a resurgence in the offense, earning his first start in a run-heavy effort against Minnesota.

Speight is still not cleared to fully participate, but will have an expanded role on the practice field this week.

“There will be things he’ll be able to do,” Harbaugh noted. “He isn’t cleared for contact, but cleared to do some throwing and exercises.”

Harbaugh explained on Monday that Michigan was one of three teams in the country to have won a game under the direction of three different quarterbacks, but would not commit to a course of action if Speight is able to return to health.

“As we’ve always said, like always, when somebody’s back, that’s when we address that,” Harbaugh said. “When he’s back out there practicing and competing.”

In other injury news, Harbaugh briefly addressed the status of running back Ty Isaac, wide receiver Grant Perry, offensive lineman Michael Onwenu and tight end Tyrone Wheatley Jr., who all missed Michigan’s last game.

“There’s a very good chance that all could be back Saturday (against Maryland),” he said. “But they’re questionable.”

Harbaugh declined to discuss the injury status of freshman receiver Nico Collins, who also left the field during the Wolverines’ last outing.


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