Two days after self-diagnosing his health at 80 percent in East Lansing, Michigan quarterback Chad Henne said his separated throwing shoulder from the Illinois game is almost back to full strength.
Henne added at yesterday’s press conference that he’ll “definitely” play this weekend against Wisconsin.
“It feels really good,” Henne said. “I got treatment this morning, and everything has definitely gotten a lot tighter, and it feels a lot better. Obviously it’s going to move around a little bit, but right now, it’s not really moving around at all and it’s back to normal.”
The quarterback spoke extensively about the injury yesterday for the first time since it happened.
“I knew I felt it crack and I knew as soon as I did it,” Henne said. “I felt it dislocate because it happened once in high school. I thought to myself once it happened, ‘This isn’t good.’ But it didn’t completely pop out, it kind of went back in itself. I stood up and it felt all right. But when I tried to pick my arm up, I knew something was tremendously wrong.”
Henne elaborated on the pain he’s suffered, saying his shoulder painfully slides back and forth and clicks in and out on throws. He also attributed some of his early deep-throw inaccuracy to the pain in his shoulder.
But there was one mistake Henne couldn’t blame on the shoulder.
Following the win over Michigan State, while most of his teammates participated in a mock “moment of silence” at midfield, Henne ran toward the tunnel. As he approached the field-goal post, he jumped to avoid the pad being removed from the post. But the person removing the pad moved it back at the last second, Henne said, and tripped the quarterback in midair. Not wanting to hurt his shoulder, Henne “did the Superman” and fell flat on his face.
Quickly recovering, the senior made sure to jump and hit the big Spartan “S” at the top of the tunnel before disappearing from view.
But Henne should appear more dignified next week when he is almost certain to break the all-time Michigan passing-yardage record. He’s currently just nine yards behind former quarterback John Navarre (9,254).
“It’s a tremendous opportunity and an honor for me, but it’s only nine yards,” Henne said. “Records are meant to be broken. Having played four years and definitely having been around a lot of great players, when you get to this point, it’s a team game. I’m doing a lot to help myself, but there are a lot of other guys making plays for me.”
Ring around the Ringer: More reflection on linebacker Shawn Crable’s missed-then-made tackle of Michigan State running back Javon Ringer at the end of the third quarter came Monday.
Crable fought off two blockers to attempt to tackle Ringer several yards behind the line of scrimmage. But he couldn’t bring the back down, and Ringer escaped to the other side of the field. The speedy runner looked to have a sure touchdown, but Crable got up off the ground and chased Ringer down the right sideline, fighting off another potential blocker on his way to making the tackle after the 72-yard run.
“I think the play that Shawn Crable made ranks with the best plays I’ve ever seen on a football field,” Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. “I could not believe what he did. I didn’t realize until later in the game that he had made that tackle. I knew he had been unable (to get Ringer) to the ground, and I could not believe that he made the play.
“I just think it’s an unbelievable play, and it’s certainly one of those plays that in Michigan defense, it will be there in the future to stand as an example of what great effort is.”
O-Line Shuffle: After switching numerous times throughout the year, offensive linemen Justin Boren (right guard) and Adam Kraus (center) seem finally to have settled in.
Former center Mark Bihl’s graduation forced Boren to start this season at center after playing guard all of last year.
But several fumbled-snap problems have caused Kraus to take over Boren’s spot a number of times throughout the early part of this season. And the change finally appears to be permanent. Kraus played the entire Michigan State game at center and is listed on this week’s depth chart as the starter.
“Adam really gets the ball up when he’s underneath center, he’s consistent at that,” Henne said. “He’s also right-handed, and every quarterback is used to a right-handed center. Not to bash Justin, I never really had a lot of problems with Justin. He’s done a great job, and he’s a great center.
“There might be one slip-up where he’s going one way and doesn’t get the ball up all the way. We just can’t have fumbled snaps at this point in the season, and we feel Adam is a lot more comfortable in his position.”