Harbaugh: Hit on Speight 'egregious,' return unknown
Ann Arbor — Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight, injured in the Big Ten opener at Purdue last Saturday, remains sidelined and it’s unclear when he will be healthy enough to play.
Speight was injured late in the first quarter when he took two hits, the second of which Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh on Monday called “egregious” and should have been ruled targeting. Harbaugh said after the game Speight has a “soft-tissue” injury, but it appeared the second hit affected his neck.
Backup quarterback John O’Korn led Michigan to a 28-10 victory against Purdue. Michigan is 4-0 and does not have a game on Saturday. The Wolverines next face Michigan State on Oct. 7 in a night game at Michigan Stadium.
“If we were playing a game this week, he wouldn’t be able to play,” Harbaugh said Monday of Speight.
After watching game film, Harbaugh said the second hit on Speight, who was down after being sacked, delivered by Eddy Wilson should have warranted a targeting penalty. The Boilermakers did have two players ejected during the game for targeting.
“Having seen it now, I thought it was egregious,” Harbaugh said. “If I had a stronger word to use, I’d use it. With all the emphasis on protecting defenseless players, it appeared the player knew what he was doing, targeted the head and neck area when the player was on the ground and accelerated into it.
“Surprisingly had two officials standing back there that are both looking at it plus a review in the press box and that wasn’t targeting, that wasn’t a personal foul.”
Harbaugh said he plans to contact the Big Ten regarding that hit along with several others in the game.
On another injury note, Harbaugh has no update on whether freshman receiver Tarik Black, who underwent surgery last week on a broken bone in his foot, will be able to return this season.
“Not quite yet,” Harbaugh said. “It’s going to be a process. How things, cracks, fractures, heal. Not a medical doctor, but I know it takes some time.”
Harbaugh then jokingly referred media to Google information on the injury.
“Or to a medical doctor, board certified, trained,” he said. “Which is not me.”