Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis has not played in the team’s first three games due to a variety of injuries to his back, hamstring and quads. However, Wolverines’ head coach Jim Harbaugh thinks that the defensive back could make his 2016 debut on Saturday as Michigan opens their Big Ten Conference schedule against the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Lewis appeared in all of Michigan’s games in 2015 and recorded 45 tackles, including one sack. He also added two interceptions, including one that was returned for a 37-yard return for a touchdown. He was notably named as a first-team All-American by USA Today at the conclusion of the campaign.
Harbaugh discussed the cornerback’s status at his weekly press conference on Monday.
“That nagging thing you’re dealing with, it’s not broken, but it’s just as real,” Harbaugh said. “He’s doing a fantastic job. The guy has been a real stud in everything that he’s done, every preparation that he’s made. It’s all been A-plus, plus. I’m very hopeful this is the week he’ll get back out there on the field of play.”
Through the first three weeks of the season, Michigan has gone undefeated without their star cornerback. The Wolverines didn’t surrender a passing touchdown in their first two games against Hawaii and Central Florida, but did allow Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau to find the end zone through the air three times in Michigan’s 45-28 win on Saturday.
Michigan’s first two conference games are at home against tough opponents in Penn State and the No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers. The addition of an impact defender like Lewis will be helpful as the school looks to maintain their place atop the Big Ten East division in the conference portion of their schedule.