Wolverines awaiting word on severity of receiver Ronnie Bell's leg injury

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Michigan receiver Ronnie Bell, who left the field on a cart before the end of the first half after suffering an unspecified injury to his right leg, will have an MRI tonight to determine its severity.

Bell was injured after returning a punt 31 yards with just less than eight minutes left in the first half. Michigan defeated Western Michigan, 47-14, in the season opener at Michigan Stadium on Saturday, but Bell’s status was a major topic after the game.

“Worried about Ronnie Bell right now coming out of this game, that’s the biggest concern,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said.

Michigan wide receiver Ronnie Bell runs the ball during a punt return in the second quarter. Bell was injured on the play.

Bell, a veteran receiver and captain, caught a 76-yard touchdown pass from Cade McNamara with 9:18 left in the first half to give the Wolverines a 17-7 lead.

“The big play he made on the post really cracked the game open,” Harbaugh said. “We got the big play when we needed it. We had established we could run the ball at that point. They were starting to get lower and lower with the secondary and Ronnie got behind them, made the contested catch, kept his feet and took it in for the score.”

More: Michigan's Blake Corum gets cracking as part of 'thunder and lightning' duo

During Michigan’s previous drive, Bell made an exceptional one-handed catch for a 34-yard gain on third down but was called for pass interference.

“The one-handed catch was amazing,” Harbaugh said. “I didn’t think there was any way he was still in bounds.”

McNamara wouldn't go as far as saying the pass interference call was questionable.

"But can’t delete film," McNamara said, smiling.

McNamara and the team gathered on the field while the medical trainers and Harbaugh went out to check on Bell. He had to be helped off the field 

“It’s very difficult seeing a teammate out there, a brother out there hurt," McNamara said. "Ronnie is a big part of this team. I’m praying for whatever it is for him to be OK. Obviously, it’s super difficult. You hate to see it."

Bell also had the 31-yard punt return and finished with 107 all-purpose yards.

“Ronnie is loved by everybody, captain of the football team,” Harbaugh said. “What can you say other than you hope for the best, expect the worst and wait until you get the MRI results. No matter what, he’ll be back. He’s got too much drive not to be.”


Twitter: @chengelis