ANN ARBOR - I don't remember watching Joe Theismann's career-ending leg injury - though I knew it was coming when I watched the movie "The Blind Side" three years ago.
I covered my eyes. I didn't have time to do the same this afternoon when Michigan tailback Fitzgerald Tousssaint went down in a heap inside the Iowa 15-yard line in the first quarter of Michigan's 42-17 win over the Hawkeyes. In fact, I didn't even realize that it might be more than just "a boo-boo" until I didn't see Toussaint bounce back up, as many rushers instinctively do after the play is whistled dead.
More than 113,000 didn't see it happen, either. And I'm sure they didn't immediately realize the severity of Toussaint's injury - until the cart came out. In football lingo, that's akin to being taken away in an ambulance. (Put it this way - there were people cussing in the press box when the cart came out.)
If you haven't eaten a meal yet, or if you have a strong gag reflex, here's footage of the play where Toussaint got injured, via TheBigLead.com:
Toussaint's absence isn't devastating - in fact, Toussaint was having a less-than-stellar year with the Wolverines, after missing Michigan's first game because of a suspension in connection with his July DUI arrest. In 10 games this season, Toussaint has 514 yards rushing and five touchdowns, but appeared to be forging a presence before his game- and likely season-ending injury.
Now, in preparation for next week's rivalry showdown at Ohio State, anticipate Denard Robinson to become more of a factor in Michigan's offensive backfield - what with that ulnar nerve injury and Devin Gardner's emergence at quarterback.
But that's secondary at the moment. Hoke said Toussaint, a redshirt junior, underwent surgery Saturday afternoon but Hoke did not elaborate on the scope of the injury or the type of surgery Toussaint underwent - out of deference to Toussaint's mother, who, as of the post-game press conference on Saturday, had not been contacted about the injury.
“It was heartbreaking to see Fitz in so much pain,” Gardner said. “Fitz is a really tough guy, and I’ve never seen his face grimacing like that. I just pray that he’ll be alright. And I just prayed, instantly. As soon as I saw him down, I just started to pray. And, hopefully, he’ll be fine.”