The mother of Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary said her son was told by doctors to rest his injured shoulder and shot down speculation about his future with the Wolverines.
Jennifer Coney-Shepherd shared her feelings in a lengthy response on “The Winged Helmet” page on Facebook. Gary, first-team All-Big Ten last season, has an injured AC joint in his right shoulder and has missed the last three games.
She said until he is fully healed, he will continue to rest.
Coney-Shepherd wrote that Gary will not play “until he is fully recovered…Now that you know..there’s no need for rumor or speculation.”
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was asked Monday if this is a season-ending injury or if Gary will be back.
“I don’t know,” Harbaugh said.
Gary did practice last week.
“He’s made progress,” Harbaugh said at his weekly news conference. “He practiced last week, but he didn’t feel like he could play in the game, so that was the decision made not to play in the game.”
Harbaugh said nothing has been discussed regarding Gary sitting the rest of the season. Ohio State’s highly talented defensive end Nick Bosa, also injured this season, last week announced he will not return this season and will instead prepare for the NFL Draft.
Gary most recently appeared on ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper’s Big Board at No. 9.
“No,” Harbaugh said referring to Gary and his future. “Hasn’t indicated that.”
Shortly after the conclusion of Harbaugh’s news conference, Coney-Shepherd shared this thought on Twitter: “Unless you truly know, don’t believe what you hear.”
On Wednesday, she went in-depth regarding her son, saying the two of them appreciate the support of the Michigan fans.
Coney-Shepherd revealed Gary was injured a week before the season opener at Notre Dame. There had been considerable speculation Gary was hurt at that point and during the Wolverines’ open practice at Michigan Stadium before the start of the season, he did not participate.
“He decided that he could play through it & rehab during the week,” she wrote. “However, at UM its all or nothing and daily practice is just like a game..so he never had the chance to rest..so instead of getting better it got worse..Then the last game he played he fell on it and the pain was unbearable. After MRI & CT Scan he was told that if he DID NOT rest, treatment, rehab and continued o play (4 to 6 weeks). The next time he may need surgery.
“So…he followed medical direction, and he’s feeling so much better. To play before that time would be detrimental to himself & a disservice to his team mates. So why would people say he’s quitting football because he has to heal? My son is an always will be a warrior. My son is a Wolverine! He has pride in himself, his team & his academics & until Michigan plays their last game he will be a part of team. “
Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown on Tuesday appeared on the Big Ten football call, and was asked about Gary and how the defensive line has filled in for his absence.
“Obviously, we’re trying desperately to get Rashan Gary back,” Brown said. “We’ll see where that takes us with the bye week looking us right down the barrel here. We’ll see if we can get that young man healthy. But the development of Kwity Paye has certainly not gone unnoticed.
“He’s really becoming a stalwart for us. Carlo Kemp continues to grow as an inside defensive tackle. I think Bryan Mone had our best game for us as our nose guard and Chase Winovich is kind of a, I don’t know what you call him, but he’s a crazy man that just plays with his hair on fire all the time. I think he has a tremendous effect on our football team because of his energy level.”