Jabrill Peppers warming up; still uncertain if he'll play

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers gives a thumbs up to his teammates in the second quarter.  Peppers did not play due to an injury.

Orlando, Fla. – Will he or won't he? That's been the big question this week regarding Michigan's standout triple-threat, Jabrill Peppers.

Peppers, a starting safety, has been "working through something" – his words and those of coach Jim Harbaugh – and it has been unclear if he will be available for today's Citrus Bowl against Florida. During the second half of the regular season, Peppers was a spark on offense, and he has returned kicks.

He has been seen with a splint on his right hand, and specifically his right index finger, at various times throughout the past month.

Earlier this week, Peppers told reporters he always "expects" to play, but would not definitively say whether he will play.

Peppers has been on the field during pregame warm-ups Friday, working routes with the defensive backs, but when the ball has been thrown his way, he has caught the majority with his left hand, only. He has returned balls throwing underhand with his left hand.

Jabrill Peppers, dressed in white with a visor on, warms up Friday before the Citrus Bowl.

For the Wolverines, who haven't been in a bowl game since the 2013 season, it is an important goal to reach 10 wins this season in Harbaugh's first as head coach. Michigan is 9-3 overall and was 6-2 during the Big Ten.

Harbaugh, in the final pre-bowl news conference, said if the Wolverines beat Florida for the 10th victory, this would be his favorite season in football.

"We just started working at the job Dec. 30th," Harbaugh said, referring to taking the job in 2014. "And every single day we'd get up and work and see if we couldn't make today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than it was today. That remains the expectation.

"But it has been a joy to, when I look back over this year, it's been a joy to coach this team. I love the players. A great bunch of guys. And I say that for our staff, our coaches and everybody at our university that I've come in contact with. It's been a great year that way. To get this win, to get that 10th win and be Citrus Bowl champions, that would make it the best year I've had in football, in my opinion."