Michigan RB Blake Corum exits Illinois game with apparent knee injury

Michigan running back Blake Corum, one of the leading contenders for the Heisman Trophy, was injured on Saturday.

Late in the first half of Michigan’s 19-17 home victory vs. Illinois, Corum injured his left knee on a second-down run. As he tried to get around the corner on a run to the right, Corum was hit low by an Illinois defender.

Corum immediately grabbed for his left knee before he even hit the ground, fumbling in the process. Corum was down on the field for several minutes before limping back to the locker room under his own power.

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After halftime, Corum led Michigan out of the tunnel and participated in warmups. According to the ESPN broadcast, all X-rays were negative for Corum. On UM's first offensive series of the second half, Corum re-entered the game and had a five-yard carry.

However, for Michigan's next possession, Corum remained on the sideline and had his helmet off. He never returned.

After the win, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters that Corum was "cleared to go back in" and that his knee was "structurally good." Corum will undergo additional testing on Sunday.

"We'll see where it is, how it feels tomorrow," Harbaugh said.

Before the injury, Corum had rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown on 17 attempts to help the Wolverines jump out to a first-half lead.

Corum is arguably the most important player for Michigan, which now has an 11-0 record and was ranked No. 3 in the most recent College Football Playoff rankings.

The Wolverines have leaned heavily on the running game all season with Corum leading the way. Including his 103-yard first half on Saturday, Corum has topped the 100-yard mark in eight consecutive games.

He entered Saturday with 1,349 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns while averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Corum is now up to 1,457 yards and 18 touchdowns. Entering the weekend, Corum ranked third nationally in rushing yards behind Illinois’ Chase Brown and UAB’s DeWayne McBride.

Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) runs the ball against Illinois in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) runs the ball against Illinois in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Earlier this week, Corum had the fourth-best odds to win the Heisman Trophy. He was listed at +600 at BetMGM behind three quarterbacks — Ohio State’s CJ Stroud (+130), Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker (+300) and North Carolina’s Drake Maye (+500).

Michigan will face No. 2 Ohio State next weekend in Columbus with the Big Ten East and potentially a College Football Playoff berth on the line.

If Corum is unavailable, Michigan has Donovan Edwards behind him on the depth chart. However, Edwards was not active for Saturday’s game vs. Illinois, leaving freshman C.J. Stokes as Corum’s backup vs. the Illini. Stokes entered Saturday’s game with 232 yards and a touchdown on 42 carries. Edwards, a sophomore, has rushed for 471 yards and four touchdowns.