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Michigan Football: Brady Hoke's Secrecy Means Bad News for Denard Robinson

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 27: Quarterback Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines is attended to by trainers after being injured during their game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on October 27, 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images
Adam JacobiBig Ten Football Lead WriterNovember 16, 2012

Saturday is Senior Day at Michigan Stadium, which means it's the last home game for Michigan's senior class—including one Denard Robinson at quarterback. 

Unfortunately, Robinson's last game at the "Big House" may have already come and gone, in the form of Michigan's 12-10 win over Michigan State back on October 20. The very next week, at Nebraska, Robinson went down clutching his arm on what appeared to be a routine tackle. He would leave that game suffering from an ulnar nerve injury and he hasn't been back in the lineup since.

All the while, Brady Hoke has been playing a cat-and-mouse game with reporters, refusing to update Denard Robinson's condition with anything more than a statement that Robinson is "day-to-day" (aren't we all?) as he misses week after week of action.

It could very well be that Robinson will be back for the Iowa game this Saturday. Perhaps it was a four-week injury and now he's ready to unleash hell on the hapless Hawkeye defense in one last grand hurrah for the Michigan faithful.

If so, great. He deserves it.

We are not that optimistic.

First, when on his weekly appearance on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit on Thursday, Hoke said "Oh, I don’t know the health of him and all of those things are things we are concerned about." That's about as much as you'll ever get out of Hoke when it comes to injuries—at least he didn't call it a "boo-boo"—but it doesn't sound great.

More revealing, however, was Hoke's reaction to the notion of putting in Robinson for one ceremonial play when the question was raised on that show. Per the Detroit News, Hoke wasn't so keen on that idea:

"That would be something I would think about, but to be honest with you, the seniors and the guys and the people who are truly Michigan fans, I think they understand the significance he's had," said Hoke.

Let's translate that: You don't need an injured Robinson on the field to appreciate him and his career. And you know what? Hoke is right. Robinson's career already speaks for itself. It's a bummer that he's likely to fall short of Pat White's career QB rushing mark in the FBS, but he's been such a remarkable face of the Michigan program—especially when things weren't going so hot and fans needed a superstar to rally around. 

But make no mistake: If Brady Hoke's essentially saying "it's okay if Denard Robinson plays no snaps on Saturday," it's probably not because he's going to start.

That's too bad. He's a lot of fun to watch.

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