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Published: Thursday, 10/14/2010

Odoms' season at UM likely over

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

ANN ARBOR - Michigan receiver Martavious Odoms is likely out for the year with a broken foot, coach Rich Rodriguez said, adding he expected Odoms to undergo surgery either Wednesday or Thursday.

Rodriguez said there is a "slim possibility" the junior will play again this season. If not, he will be the fifth Wolverine whose year is over because of injury.

The others are linebacker Mike Jones (leg), safeties Jared Van Slyke (clavicle) and Mike Williams (multiple concussions), and cornerback Troy Woolfolk (ankle).

Odoms, a slot receiver who missed three games a year ago with a knee injury, is tied for second on the team with 15 catches.

Rodriguez said this is the highest number of season-ending injuries he's had to absorb in 18 years as a head coach.

The offensive backfield, though nearing full health, has yet to be stabilized because of injuries to Michael Shaw, who missed the Indiana game, and promising freshman Fitzgerald Toussaint, who has played in just one game.

"The frustrating part about it, more than anything else, is for the young men who work so hard and train to get ready for the season, and then in the tough game of football, they have an injury that takes them out for the season or for several weeks," Rodriguez lamented.

Junior Hemingway, who had a breakout game against Indiana, catching three passes for 129 yards and a score, will likely start in Odom's absence.

"He's got great ball skills, and he really understands our offense, so we've really been pleased the way he's played the last several weeks," Rodriguez said.

"He's a big, big, big part of our offense."

In the case of Williams, a junior, a concussion might not only wipe out his season but also his career.

Rodriguez said Williams has been in discussions with doctors, and the doctors "may leave the decision up to him."

WHERE'S WILL?: Will Campbell, a blue chip recruit in the 2009 class, has barely played this year, recording just one tackle. Rodriguez said part of the nose guard's struggles to get on the field has to do with him being "behind a couple of pretty good guys" on the depth chart in Mike Martin and Adam Patterson.

"He's got a good attitude and he's working to get better," Rodriguez said.

"I know [defensive line coach Bruce Tall] has been pleased with his progress, to some level, but there's another level that he can get to and we're hoping he can get there quickly."

Campbell had four tackles a year ago as a true freshman.

SHAKING IT UP: Rodriguez said he plans to play more guys at linebacker beginning Saturday, which should mean good things for Kenny Demens, J.B. Fitzgerald, and Mark Moundros.

Rodriguez thus far has struggled to find time for reserve linebackers, partly because when starter Obi Ezeh leaves the field on passing downs, it's in favor of a defensive back.

"I'd expect them to be in the rotation quite a bit more, particularly if they have a good week of practice," Rodriguez said.

Contact Ryan Autullo at:

rautullo@theblade.com

or 419-724-6160.



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