Status of injured Michigan cornerback Blake Countess, offensive tackle Taylor Lewan not known
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Michigan football coach Brady Hoke had no immediate updates on the status of two injured starters Saturday night.
Sophomore cornerback Blake Countess and junior left tackle Taylor Lewan both left Michigan's 41-14 loss against No. 2 Alabama with apparent leg injuries, and did not return.
After the game, Hoke said he wasn't sure how severe either injury was.
"I don't know," Hoke said.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Countess went down with an injury after covering a punt just prior to Michigan's second defensive series of the game.
He was helped off the field and taken to the trainer's table, and eventually to the locker room. The Michigan Football Radio Network reported mid-game that Countess' injury centered around his knee, and his status for the remainder of the contest was "out."
Toward the end of the game, Countess was seen wearing street clothes and walking on crutches.
Countess played in 12 games as a freshman last season, starting the team's final six contests. He finished the year with 44 tackles, and was expected to be a key figure in Michigan's defense this season. He was replaced in the lineup by junior Courtney Avery and sophomore Raymon Taylor.
"Obviously Blake's a talented ball player," Michigan senior captain Jordan Kovacs said. "But the next guy steps up. Ray came in and I thought he played pretty well."
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron finished 11-for-21 with 199 yards and two touchdowns -- including a 51-yarder to DeAndrew White, who ran right by Avery for the score.
As for Lewan, the hulking junior left tackle fell to the turf late in the fourth quarter after appearing to have another player roll up inside his legs.
The 6-foot-8, 309-pound Lewan -- one of the Big Ten's Players to Watch in 2012 -- stayed on the ground for several moments before being helped off the field. He heavily favored his right leg as he walked off.
According to Michigan Radio, Lewan told coaches he could go back in the game if needed, but he was never re-insterted.
Lewan has made 15 straight starts at left tackle for Michigan, and is considered the team's best offensive lineman. When he left the game, Michigan shifted right tackle Michael Schofield to Lewan's left tackle spot, and kicked right guard Patrick Omameh out to right tackle.
Sophomore Joey Burzynski took over for Omameh at right guard.