UM linebacker Josh Ross 'probable' for Wisconsin game after stinger; Nebraska a night game

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Michigan linebacker Josh Ross, the team’s leading tackler, is “probable” for the Wolverines’ Big Ten road opener against Wisconsin.

Ross, who suffered a left shoulder injury, described as a stinger, late in the first half of last Saturday’s 20-13 win over Rutgers, did not play in the second half. His presence clearly was missed, as the Scarlet Knights outgained Michigan, 231-42 while the offense stalled on four-straight three-and-outs. Rutgers scored 10 unanswered points.

Michigan linebacker Josh Ross tackles Washington tight end Cade Otton during the second half.

The two-time captain leads the team with 29 tackles, including 3.5 for loss. Safety Dax Hill and linebacker Nikhai Hill-Green are next with 18 tackles apiece.

Michigan is 4-0 and goes on the road for the first time this season to face Wisconsin (1-2). The Badgers have won five straight against the Wolverines at Camp Randall Stadium —  2005, 2007, 2009, 2017 and 2019. Ross' experience is vital for the defense playing in a challenging venue.

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“I think he’s probable at this point for the game,” coach Jim Harbaugh said of Ross.

Harbaugh also said linebacker Michael Barrett will get more practice reps this week.

“He’ll be more in the mix,” he said.

Hill-Green is a first-year starter and had a game-high eight tackles against Rutgers. Kalel Mullings, who had a career-best six tackles last week, and freshman Junior Colson, who recovered a Rutgers fumble late in the game to help seal the win, both saw more playing time in Ross’ absence.

“That was a real challenge,” Harbaugh said. “Acquitted themselves pretty darn good not having Ross out there helping them making calls, helping them align, giving them reminders and tips. There was quite a bit that was lost without Josh being out there, from a physical standpoint also, coaching that other inside linebacker up on the field.”

Harbaugh said the eye discipline was lacking because of Ross' absence.

“When Josh Ross went out, particularly, we were affected there, the eye discipline of the linebackers,” Harbaugh said. “The responsibilities on the option and the read-option game was really stressed. But good learning experience for those young linebackers. They were stressed in that quarterback read-option game. They’ll learn from it and grow.”

Night game for Nebraska

Michigan will play it’s second night game of the season when it travels to Nebraska on Oct 9.

The Wolverines, which hosted Washington for a primetime game in Week 2, will play at Nebraska in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC.

Twitter: @achengelis