Connor Cook injured but says he'll play vs. Ohio State
East Lansing – Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook injured his right shoulder in the first half Saturday against Maryland and did not play in the second half. However, Cook said he would be OK to play next week against Ohio State.
“There was no popping out of any sort,” Cook said. “They looked at it a little bit. I’ll be fine to go next week. I’ll be good.”
Backup Tyler O’Connor took over for Cook, who slammed his helmet down on the sideline when it was clear he wasn’t starting the second half of No. 14 Michigan State’s 24-7 victory over Maryland.
Cook was injured late in the first quarter after he was hit by Maryland defensive end Jesse Aniebonam following a 21-yard completion to R.J. Shelton. He sat out the rest of the drive but returned and finished the half. He was far from sharp, however, completing just six of 20 passes and repeatedly shaking his throwing arm.
“I just landed on it funny,” Cook said. “It kind of felt a little weak at that point. I came to the sidelines and got it checked out and there was nothing serious. I went back in and it didn’t really affect me at all. There was a little pain here and there, but nothing like I couldn’t deliver a pass.
“I felt like I could have (played). I felt confident in my abilities and my arm and my health, but Coach D just wanted to play it safe and keep me on the sideline for precautionary reasons.”
Coach Mark Dantonio felt Cook had lost some velocity on his throws, something that led to his decision to keep Cook out for the second half.
“I don’t sense it’s a long-term thing,” Dantonio said. “I think he could have gone, but he felt like if he threw it hard it would set him back a number of days.”
O’Connor led Michigan State’s first scoring drive in a series that was planned for him to play, coming before the Cook injury.
The junior opened the second half by leading a 62-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard Gerald Holmes touchdown one play after O’Connor picked up a first down with an 11-yard run.