LINCOLN, Neb. — The Michigan offense was dealt another blow Saturday night when right guard Zak Zinter limped off the field in the second quarter.
Arguably U-M’s best offensive lineman, Zinter needed the help of a teammate to reach the bench area before members of the medical staff began looking at his leg. The examinations were brief, but Zinter continued limping along the sideline and did not return to the game before halftime.
He was replaced by reserve lineman Chuck Filiaga, a starter from last season.
Other than the season-ending injury to wide receiver Ronnie Bell, the Wolverines progressed through the first month of the season with a remarkably clean bill of health. Bell, who is out for the season, represented the only starter on either side of the ball to miss a game entering Saturday.
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That quickly changed. Before kickoff, Michigan announced wide receiver Roman Wilson did not travel and would miss the game with an undisclosed injury. Wilson was coming off a career-best performance against Wisconsin last week. He was hurt during the game but remained on the field for all four quarters.
Losing Zinter would be another big hit to the offense. Considered by offensive coordinator Josh Gattis as one of Michigan’s best players regardless of position, Zinter played well through the first five weeks despite wearing a club to protect a broken bone. He is described by teammates as a freak of nature for his combination of size and athleticism, and there’s little question about his future in the NFL.
Filiaga entered Saturday with 31 career appearances and seven starts at left guard.