The Michigan Football program has suffered a massive blow
The Michigan Football program is off to a rocky start to their 2020 season as they have now lost back-to-back games against the Michigan State Spartans and the Indiana Hoosiers. It should come as no surprise that rumors of Jim Harbaugh potentially heading back to the NFL come at the same time as his seat in Ann Arbor heats up.
Even more devastatingly, the Wolverines are now set to be without one of their top defensive players for the immediate future as edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson has suffered an ankle injury. Hutchinson is set to head to surgery on the ankle, and no timetable has been set on his return to action as he recovers from a fractured ankle.
Where does the Michigan Football Program go from here?
At this point, the Wolverines will have to rely on their other dynamic pass rusher in Kwity Paye even more; both Paye and Hutchinson have been considered top-50 players in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. Paye, who also left the game against the Hoosiers in the third quarter, has been off to a blaznig start to his season, and the Michigan defense will need him to add a bit more to his workload now.
Redshirt Sophomore Taylor Upshaw and Redshirt Junior Luiji Vilain will see a larger role as well after the injury to Hutchinson. Both of these players are also draft eligible, so if they are able to fill in for the injured Hutchinson with prominence, then they too could be off to the NFL by the time April rolls around.
What does the future hold for Hutchinson?
One has to wonder what is going through the mind of Hutchinson right now. First and foremost, his health and safety is a priority, but where does he turn for the future?
With a notable name such as his, will Hutchinson opt out and begin his recovery process with the 2021 NFL Draft up next? Or, does Hutchinson still feel like he has more to prove and feel as though he can pad his portfolio? If this is the case, we could see Hutchinson, just a true Junior return to Ann Arbor in 2021 for his Senior season with the Wolverines.
Certainly the impending status of Harbaugh’s future will play a role in the decision for Hutchinson as well. As the season progresses, this remains a situation to monitor as Hutchinson has every right and precedent to make the jump to the next level should he choose to do so.