Is Spate of ACL Injuries at Michigan a Fluke or a Problem?

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterApril 3, 2013

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 01:  Linebacker Jake Ryan #47 of the Michigan Wolverines sets for play against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Outback Bowl January 1, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  Carolina won 33 - 28. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

First it was Jake Ryan going down with an ACL tear this spring. More recently it was M Live reporting that quarterback Russell Bellomy would be sidelined with the same injury. Last year Blake Countess, Kaleb Ringer and Chris Wormley all went down with knee injuries.

Before we get out the strength and conditioning failures conspiracy sheet, let's chalk these up to being a part of football. Sometimes you get hurt playing football. Sometimes multiple players, at different positions, and of various stages of involvement in the program all get similar injuries.

It certainly is not good, but it also is not a major problem, and it's one that a team like Michigan can address.

This is not akin to a product failure as was rumored at UCLA during their rash of fifth metatarsal foot injuries. These are players playing different positions who succumbed to one of the toughest injuries for players to experience on the field.

When you look at strength and conditioning, Aaron Wellman, who runs Michigan's program, is one of the guys who does all of the little things in an effort to build durability. His program, like most others around the nation, is rooted in not only building explosive power, but in working flexibility and improving the stabilizer muscles.

In other words, the Wolverines are doing what they can in an effort to avoid these type injuries. Unfortunately, it is football, and in football guys go down at unfortunate times—guys who are merely months into the program, and guys who are a couple years deep into BCS level strength and conditioning.

For those questioning the turf, FieldTurf is actually safer from both a concussion and major muscle and ligament damage standpoint than grass. Hence more schools going to FieldTurf as a surface, not just on their gameday fields, but on their practice fields as well. Hell, teams with grass playing surfaces are often practicing on FieldTurf in an effort to give their players better conditions to work on during the week.

The injuries are most definitely a traumatic occurrence for the players and a blow to the team's depth chart. However, like most injuries that occur through the course of practice and games, there is not much that can be done about them.

If you're a Michigan fan, don't panic, just hope the kids get better and that no one else succumbs to the same ACL monster.