Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Michigan quarterback Steven Threet is expected to play this week against Michigan State after his bruised throwing elbow flared up Saturday at Penn State.
Threet started against Penn State and played well in the first half before losing feeling in the elbow, which he injured the previous week against Toledo. The redshirt freshman missed several series in the third quarter before returning briefly in the fourth.
"He's a little better than he was a week ago," Rodriguez said this morning. "Hopefully, it won't be a chronic thing. But the elbow's a sensitive issue. If it wasn't on his throwing arm, it wouldn't be a big issue. But it was an issue in the game, and after the feeling came back, he was able to come back in the game.
"It's just a bruise, which takes time to heal."
Rodriguez expects Threet to practice Tuesday. Sophomore Nick Sheridan remains the backup quarterback despite continued struggles against Penn State.
True freshman Justin Feagin, whose skills perhaps best fit Rodriguez's spread offense, will practice a bit with the second-team offense this week. Rodriguez is deciding whether to redshirt Feagin, who also has practiced at slot receiver.
"About now is when we'll make a decision [on whether to redshirt Feagin]," Rodriguez said. "The whole thing about redshirting is, obviously, if the guy's not ready mentally or physically, it's not fair to put him in the game. ... You have to weigh how many plays he would be in the game."
If Threet responds well this week in practice, don't expect to see Feagin on Saturday against the Spartans (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET).
Other Wolverines notes:
Junior Brandon Minor will continue to be featured at running back after a strong performance (117 rush yards, 2 TDs) against Penn State. Rodriguez doesn't want to put too much pressure on freshman Sam McGuffie. "[Minor's] knowledge of what we want offensively is probably greater than any running back we have on the team," Rodriguez said. Rodriguez also praised Minor's pass blocking and physical running style.
Besides Threet, Michigan had no new injuries coming out of the Penn State game.
The Wolverines' starting offensive line will remain intact for Michigan State: left tackle Mark Ortmann, left guard Tim McAvoy, center David Molk, right guard David Moosman, right tackle Steve Schilling.
Rodriguez on his critics: "You mean I have some? It'd be nice to win just to enjoy the weekend. But as far as the pressure from the critics or whatever, critics will be critics and they'll find something else to criticize even if you win."