Brady Hoke: Criticism for handling of QB's injury 'unwarranted'

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Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Monday at his weekly news conference that quarterback Shane Morris told him he had stumbled on the field Saturday in a loss to Minnesota because of an ankle injury.

Hoke, who has come under extreme heat for the way he handled Morris' injury during the loss, said he didn't see the hit on Morris because he was following the ball downfield.

"His ankle gave out, that's what he told me," Hoke said.

Hoke was asked whether Morris went through any concussion protocol and said a statement would be coming from school medical officials.

Hoke said that he doesn't make decisions on who plays when it comes to injuries.

School officials did Hoke no favors by not having a statement ready before the news conference; his regularly scheduled media event begins every Monday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Actually, given the firestorm of criticism, it's surprising that school officials didn't have that statement ready Sunday night or, at the latest, Monday morning.

Hoke also seemed somewhat taken aback by the criticism that has been aimed at him.

"When your integrity and character is attacked, I think that's really unwarranted," he said.

If Hoke didn't see the hit on Morris, you would think another staff member would've mentioned it to the coach. Morris took a big hit to the head from Minnesota defensive end Thieren Cockran, and it's inconceivable that no one on the sideline noticed Morris looking less than 100 percent.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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