September 24, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Angelique S. Chengelis: MIchigan Insider

Injuries keep U-M in flux

Carlos Brown gets the start for Michigan at running back on Saturday against Indiana. (John T. Greilick / The Detroit News)

Ann Arbor -- With the start of Big Ten play looming, Michigan must deal with a few injuries at key positions.

The Wolverines must patch their wounded offensive line, and also won't know until game time Saturday whether senior tailback Brandon Minor (high ankle sprain) will be available.

Minor missed the opener and played a limited number of snaps last Saturday. He was held out of Tuesday's practice but was expected to participate in practice on a limited basis Wednesday.

"You've got to be able to practice some to be able to play Saturday," Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said Wednesday before practice. "(We'll) see how he feels in warm-ups. I hope each week it gets a little better."

Carlos Brown, the Big Ten's co-offensive player of the week for his two-touchdown performance against Eastern Michigan, will start. Rodriguez said Mike Shaw and Vincent Smith also will play at tailback.

Perhaps more critical is the absence of starting center David Molk (broken foot, out a month). He had surgery Monday.

David Moosman, who missed last week's game against Eastern Michigan after suffering a separated shoulder against Notre Dame, will move from right guard to fill in. Rocko Khoury also is available to play center, and Tim McAvoy, out since preseason camp because of a knee injury, could play center or guard.

With Moosman's shift to center, Rodriguez said it's unclear who will start at right guard. John Ferrara got the start last weekend, but right tackle Mark Huyge could move to right guard, and Perry Dorrestein to right tackle. That was how the right side of the line looked against Notre Dame after Moosman's injury.

"We haven't decided yet," Rodriguez said. "It really depends on what goes on the next couple of days."

Avoiding the flu

College football teams certainly are not immune to the flu, and Rodriguez said it will be up to the player whether he wants to get a flu shot.

A few of the freshmen, Rodriguez said, have had the flu.

"I don't think it's the swine flu, just maybe a little cold here and there," he said. "As soon as we find out they're sick, we try to quarantine them and keep them away. But having 120 guys in close quarters ... we've got hand sanitizers everywhere and keep reminding them about cleanliness. (We) make them very cognizant of what's out there, because it is scary.

"If it starts infecting your team, it can really disrupt things."

Not going there

Rodriguez shied away from predicting which team might win the Big Ten championship.

"I don't want to predict that -- whatever you say is probably going to come back and get you one way or another," he said. "I don't know who picks the preseason thing, but usually they understand who has the most starters coming back or most talented team coming back. The Big Ten is very competitive."

By the numbers

15 Consecutive wins by Michigan over Indiana.

39 Michigan victories in its last 41 Big Ten openers.

82 Michigan wins in homecoming games.

Indiana at Michigan

Kickoff: Noon Saturday, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor

TV/radio: ESPN2/ WOMC 104.3, CKLW 800

Records: No. 23 Michigan 3-0, Indiana 3-0

Line: Michigan by 21

angelique.chengelis@detnews.com">angelique.chengelis@detnews.com

Brandon Minor has been hampered by injuries, but he hopes to play Saturday ... (John T. Greilick/The Detroit News)
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