Michigan's Sheridan out 4-6 weeks

Michigan junior quarterback Nick Sheridan will miss 4-6 weeks after sustaining a small fracture in his lower right leg during Tuesday's practice, coach Rich Rodriguez said Thursday.

Sheridan, who started four games for the Wolverines last fall, has a non-displaced fracture that won't require surgery. It will keep him out for the rest of spring drills, which conclude April 11 with the spring game at Michigan Stadium.

Rodriguez expects Sheridan to be fine for the start of preseason camp in August.

Michigan has an open competition at quarterback this spring, but Sheridan, a former walk-on, was the only candidate with legitimate game experience. Steven Threet, who started eight games last season, decided to transfer last month. Last fall, Sheridan completed 63 of 137 passes for 613 yards in 2008, with two touchdowns and five interceptions.

With Sheridan out, true freshman Tate Forcier, an early enrollee from San Diego, will work with the first-team offense. Junior David Cone also is in the mix, and sophomore Justin Feagin will once again get repetitions at quarterback after moving to slot receiver.

Another freshman, Denard Robinson, joins the mix at quarterback this summer.

Michigan lost nine games last fall and finished 109th nationally in total offense and 108th in passing.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com.