Rodriguez: Forcier Stays Starter

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Tate Forcier's head and shoulder have taken a beating this season. If he is healthy enough to take a pounding again, he's playing.

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said Monday that Forcier had a concussion against Iowa. If the quarterback is cleared to play, he'll keep his starting job.

"I don't think it was a severe one, but he still has a headache," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez expects Forcier to be OK, adding doctors and trainers will decide by Wednesday if Forcier can play Saturday at home against Delaware State.

Rodriguez replaced Forcier with fellow freshman Denard Robinson in the fourth quarter against the Hawkeyes and he led the Wolverines on a touchdown drive. Robinson was in the game for Michigan's final drive and he threw an interception, allowing Iowa to hold on for a 30-28 win.

Rodriguez has been second-guessed for not giving Forcier a shot to lead another fourth-quarter comeback. Forcier threw game-winning TD passes against Notre Dame and Indiana to help Michigan get off to a 4-0 start, and led a fourth-quarter rally to force overtime at Michigan State before throwing an interception in the overtime loss.

Rodriguez stands by his decision, which was made before he knew Forcier had a concussion.

"Denard was going in the game," he said. "Denard went out there and did a nice job on one drive."

Forcier hurt his right shoulder in the win over Indiana and Rodriguez suggested it cost him some valuable practice time and perhaps led to some of the freshman-like decisions he made against Iowa and Michigan State.

"His shoulder really limited his practice time the last couple of weeks," he said.

Rodriguez said running back Carlos Brown, who was held out of the Iowa game with a concussion, has been cleared to practice. He would not say if cornerback Boubacar Cissoko will be able to play after being suspended for violating team rules, some of which are related to academics.

"Talking to our academic folks, he was doing things he's supposed to do there for the most part," Rodriguez said. "But it's a daily thing, so we'll see."

Each day this week, senior defensive end Brandon Graham might remind his teammates that it could be costly to overlook Delaware State two years after one of the most stunning upsets in college football at Michigan Stadium.

"We're not taking nobody lightly," Graham said. "I was a part of Appalachian State. I know how it feels."


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