September 23, 2017
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Right now, Wilton Speight’s injury looked worse than it actually was.
An X-ray apparently conducted off campus found nothing structurally wrong with Michigan’s starting quarterback after he took a pair of knockout hits in Saturday’s 28-10 win over Purdue.
“I think it’s soft issue,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “But we’ll find out more.”
Harbaugh did not specify the nature of the injury, a location or a timetable for his return, but Speight returned to Ross-Ade Stadium later in the game.
He was not made available to reporters.
The injury occurred with 5:06 left in the first quarter, when Purdue’s Markus Bailey barreled through an opening on the offensive line and sacked Speight. Then 6-foot-4, 295-pound Eddy Wilson followed up with a diving blow as Speight laid on the field.
Wilson’s hit was borderline late, but neither player was flagged on the play.
“I didn’t see that,” Harbaugh said, when asked of Wilson’s hit. “That’s the first I’ve heard of it.”
ICYMI: Michigan QB Wilton Speight left the game in the first quarter after this play. pic.twitter.com/70ovBJyXHe
— Michigan On BTN (@MichiganOnBTN) September 23, 2017
Speight’s injury paved the way for fifth-year senior John O’Korn, who lost a quarterback battle to Speight in preseason camp. O’Korn finished 18 for 26 for 270 yards, throwing for a touchdown on his first drive and an interception on his second when a pass bounced off the chest of receiver Grant Perry.
“Me and Wilton are great friends, and I hate that he had to get hurt for me to go in there,” O’Korn said.
Asked after the game whether a quarterback competition had been re-opened, Harbaugh complimented the way O’Korn played.
“He played good. He really did,” Harbaugh said. “He played a heck of a ball game. I’m really proud. I’m happy for him.
“Like I said before, I thought he came into the game seeing things really well right off the bat. He acquitted himself very well.”