The Michigan Wolverines Need a Healthy Fitz Toussaint in 2013

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Wolverines fans will never forget the play in which running back Fitzgerald Toussaint injured his leg in a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes last season.

On a handoff to the right, Toussaint’s leg buckled and broke under him, prompting medical staff to cart him off the field. He immediately underwent surgery to repair his leg and was released from the hospital two days later.

Fitz’s status was, and still is uncertain for the 2013 season, but Toussaint has said he’ll be “100 percent” come this fall. Normally, I take anything that players say regarding injury with a grain of salt, but I tend to believe him on this one. He has already begun running again and running backs coach Fred Jackson has said he’s shocked by Fitz’s progress.

The next burning question is this: if Toussaint does in fact return to use his final year of eligibility in 2013, will he be as productive as he was pre-injury?

There is no doubt that medical technology has come a long way and the kid will be given every opportunity to get back on the field and play at a high level. It seems that he’s been rehabbing at a high rate if he’s already back at it, which is another good sign.

With Denard Robinson gone, the Wolverines really need Toussaint to step back into his lead-back role in the offense. Michigan had a few other guys run the ball in 2012 after he went down, but Fitz is the best runner they have. Vincent Smith is also gone for the Wolverines, leaving junior Thomas Rawls as their only semi-experienced option if Toussaint redshirts in 2013.

Quarterback Devin Gardner has some experience now at quarterback and is getting better. But if he has a reliable guy like Toussaint to hand the ball to, the Wolverines will be much more successful this year.

Follow me on twitter @ScottPeceny

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