Anyone expecting to learn quarterback Chad Henne’s status for Saturday’s game will have to wait at least a few more days. Although the senior was listed in the starting spot atop the depth chart, even his coach isn’t sure he’ll play.

“I really have no idea,” Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said yesterday when asked if Henne will play this weekend against 1-7 Minnesota. Later, Carr said he viewed Henne’s status as “day-to-day.”

While remaining tight-lipped as usual about the nature of Henne’s apparent shoulder injury, Carr did offer some clues about how a decision will be made. Carr hinted it will not be based on X-Rays or MRIs, but rather by Henne’s pain and doctors’ judgments.

And, of course, his own evaluation.

“As a coach, what you have to do is assess what you think they can do and what gives you the best chance to win,” Carr said.

Although he may not have liked discussing Henne’s injury, Carr was willing to reiterate how impressed he was with Henne’s ability to play through it. Henne sat out the third quarter of Saturday’s 27-17 win over Illinois, but he returned in the fourth to help the Wolverines put the game away. Henne completed 18-of-26 passes on the day for 201 yards, and, more important, steadied a Michigan offense that nearly threw (and fumbled) the game away under freshman Ryan Mallett.

“I know how much pain he was in and somehow he found a way to submerge his pain because of his will to win,” Carr said. “There’s a lot of different arenas, a lot of different types of courage, but on a football field, certainly, what he did was special, and none of us who are part of this team will ever forget what he did.”

How’s the Hart?: Last week, running back Mike Hart’s teammates all seemed certain he would play against Illinois. But as fans found out Saturday, Carr – who was much less optimistic in his comments – might be the better source for injury information.

And although the coach raised his expectations for Hart’s recovery this week, he still wasn’t going to guarantee anything about his star running back’s playing chances.

“I’m sure Mike is going to be a lot better than he was last week, I think daily he’ll improve,” Carr said. “But from the time he got hurt, you just don’t know. All you do know is he’s getting better. We’ll have a much better idea tomorrow when he runs.”

A Busy Man: On Saturday night, third-string running back Carlos Brown carried his share of the offense when he ran for 116 yards, while filling in for Hart. But Sunday, he had much more to do.

The sophomore said he received about 20 text messages and 25 missed calls of congratulations – and he returned nearly every one of them.

“I spent a little time talking to everybody,” Brown said. “I talked to everybody that called me back, so not that long.”

Lol Lloyd: When Carr retires, he might not want another job. But if he does, he might want to send the tape of yesterday’s press conference to a few comedy clubs.

Carr took the time during his press conference to crack a number of jokes, before telling his own rendition of the tale of the Brown Jug.

About Michigan’s end-around touchdown?

“Well, we love trick plays because it maintains our reputation as a very creative and exciting-type offense.”

Players say he likes to sing in practice. What are his favorite songs to sing to loosen them up?

“Don’t cry for me, Argentina. I got that down pretty good. What else did they tell you? I’m going to shut them up.”

On the jug?

“That’s today now, 104 years later, we’re still playing for that coveted jug, the oldest trophy in college football. It has a great tradition, a great meaning here. So, you know, when you lose it, it’s a miserable experience. When you win it, you get to keep that jug where it belongs. I mean, we bought that jug.”

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