ANN ARBOR — After missing multiple weeks with an AC joint injury in his shoulder, Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary is dressed and warming up for the Wolverines’ upcoming game against Penn State. With his status up in the air for much of the last few weeks, Gary’s return to the defensive line is a welcomed surprise for a defense that is performing well.
According to U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh on the radio this week, Gary was working hard to come back and rejoin the team after being able to rest his shoulder injury due to the Wolverines having a bye week the week prior.
“He’s working. Very hopeful,” Harbaugh said Wednesday. “People say what they say and sometimes it doesn’t make any sense at all, but he’s doing his very best to get back out on the field. But we’re not playing anybody who’s injured, and we’re not playing anybody that doesn’t feel like they’re able to go out there and play, so it’s really that simple. He’s working hard to get back out there.”
Gary’s return to the Wolverines’ lineup comes a week after his mother, Jennifer Coney-Shepherd, took to social media to dispel rumors that Gary was shutting down for the year to preserve his draft stock. She also confirmed that Gary’s shoulder injury was sustained before the season-opener against Notre Dame.
“Rashan & (sic) I appreciate your support,” she posted. “He got hurt a week b4 the Notre Dame game. However, he decided that he could play through it & rehab during the week. However, at UM its all or nothing and daily practice is just like a game..so he never had the chance to rest..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 to 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 teammates. So why would people say he’s quitting football because he has to heal?”
Tarik Black dressed
In other injury news, U-M wide receiver Tarik Black is dressed and warming up. After making his first appearance this season two weeks against Michigan State, Black appears to be on the right path to having an expanded role after undergoing foot surgery before the season-opener against the Irish. Black suffered a similar injury to the opposite foot last season that saw him missed a majority of the 2017-2018 season.
The Wolverines will kickoff against the Nittany Lions at 3:45 p.m. EST on ESPN.