Sunday, November 12, 2006

Is Mario Manningham back to 100%?

Wide Receiver Mario Manningham used the Indiana game as an opportunity to continue to work himself back into game shape prior to the Ohio State contest. However, he only pulled in two receptions for eleven yards against the Hoosiers. Although prior to his injury Manningham was QB Chad Henne's primary deep threat, Mario has yet to catch a pass longer than eight yards in the two games since his return. It was Steve Breaston who caught the 62-yard touchdown bomb from Henne against Indiana. It was almost as if Manningham and Breaston switched roles in the offense. The question is will they switch back for the Ohio State game. Manningham had been averaging 22 yards per catch prior to his injury. Breaston, on the other hand, has averaged 11.2 yards per catch this season. As for whether Manningham is back at full speed, Henne had these things to say at the Monday press conference:
"I definitely think guys came out and played well. Getting Mario (Manningham) out there getting full speed, and also Steve Breaston coming out with a big game I think just builds a lot of confidence up for our players. Each game, that's what we pride ourselves on, trying to get off to a fast start and put points on the board fast."
"Mario is definitely rehabbing a lot and getting down there and getting stronger. He definitely looks to speed at practice and he did on Saturday in Indiana. Just to get the ball in his hands and let him make plays is what we need to do with a player like him because he can make anything happen in just the snap of a finger."

Additionally, when he was asked if Manningham looked up to full speed, Henne responded, "He definitely did, because Saturday he was running routes well and especially a couple of crosses where I hit him, he definitely looked full speed." That is welcome news for the Wolverine faithful as Michigan wants all of its offensive weapons to be fully loaded for this Saturday's game. Go Blue!

*Note: Photo of Steve Breaston (15) and Mario Manningham (86) celebrating Breaston's first touchdown vs. the Hoosiers by John T. Greilick/The Detroit News



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