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Published: Tuesday, 11/13/2007

Will Hart, Henne play? Carr won't say

BY ZACH SILKA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

ANN ARBOR - The broken record continued to play at the University of Michigan regarding the status of Chad Henne and Mike Hart.

Still fighting lingering injuries, both are questionable to play against Ohio State on Saturday with an outright Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl bid up for grabs.

Michigan coach Lloyd Carr played coy with the media at his weekly press conference yesterday when addressing Henne and Hart's status.

Asked if they would play, Carr responded, "We'll have to see on Saturday."

Henne and Hart were not among six Wolverine players who attended yesterday's press conference, and both declined to speak with reporters after Saturday's loss.

Henne suffered a slight separation of his right shoulder at Illinois on Oct. 20, and the senior quarterback apparently aggravated the injury in a 37-21 loss at Wisconsin on Saturday.

At the team's weekly press briefing last week, a candid Henne said his injury normally forces quarterbacks to miss one game, which he did against Minnesota, and then return to the field.

He appeared well on the road to recover after tying a school record with four touchdown passes a week later against Michigan State that earned him Big Ten offensive player of the week honors.

After attempting five passes in the first two series against the Badgers, Henne exited and spent the rest of the game watching from the sidelines.

Carr said Henne looked fine in the pregame warm-up, but on the two passes he threw, both got away from him and came up well short of intended target Adrian Arrington.

"It was pretty apparent at that time to him and to everybody that it wasn't going to be his day," Carr said.

Ryan Mallett once again stepped in for Henne, as he has several times this season, and finished 11-of-36 for 245 passing yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also was sacked four times.

As for Hart, he was in uniform but saw no game action at Camp Randall Stadium, despite rushing for 110 yards on 15 carries at Michigan State.

Hart revealed after the in-state rivalry game that he came back a week early in his recovery from a high right-ankle sprain, but he didn't believe it would stunt the healing process.

Hart took reps with the second-team offense before the matchup with the Badgers, but when the time came for kickoff, he was relegated to the bench.

"Mike wanted to play Saturday," Carr said. "But what I saw in the pregame warm-up, I just didn't like. And so that was my decision."

Without Hart, Michigan rushed for a total of 47 yards against Wisconsin. Carlos Brown finished as the Wolverines' rusher with 38 yards on nine carries.

Of the six Wolverines who spoke with reporters yesterday, only senior safety Jamar Adams would guarantee his classmates would play.

"I always expect Mike Hart to play," Adams said. "I always expect Chad Henne to play."

Contact Zach Silka at:

zsilka@theblade.com.



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