Hoke expects Denard Robinson to play

Good news for Michigan (and potentially bad for Minnesota): Denard Robinson is expected to play this week.

Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke said Monday that Robinson "should be fine, should be ready to go" for Saturday's road game against the Gophers. Robinson left the first half of last week's 23-9 loss at Nebraska after re-aggravating a nerve issue in his throwing arm.

Hoke said he expects Robinson to practice all week. Just in case, though, he said Devin Gardner -- Robinson's former backup who has played receiver this year -- would take more snaps in practice at quarterback. He and Russell Bellomy will compete for the spot behind Robinson in practice.

Bellomy completed just three passes and threw three interceptions at Nebraska as Michigan's offense screeched to a halt. But Hoke said that "the experience he gained going into that environment is a major help."

As for Gardner, Hoke said it was "hard to calculate" how much he has been throwing in practice this season but that he thought Gardner had thrown enough to be prepared. If all goes as expected with Robinson, Hoke said, Gardner will remain at receiver this week.

Hoke also said the Michigan training staff is looking into ways to add extra protection to Robinson's arms, including the possibility of wearing a sleeve. But, he said, "he's got to get used to it, too."

The Wolverines need their best offensive weapon back and at full strength for the stretch drive. Michigan has failed to score a touchdown in each of its past two games. Hoke said the offensive line also bears some of the blame for the showing at Nebraska, as it failed to pick up the Huskers' pressure on what should have been routine blocking assignments.