By: Will Burchfield
At first, Michigan offensive lineman Grant Newsome didn’t think the injury was all that serious. After getting chop blocked by a Wisconsin player and suffering a dislocated right knee, Newsome summoned the nerve to walk off the field with only slight assistance from team trainers.
“My mom was at the game so I didn’t want her to to worry,” Newsome told reporters on Tuesday during Michigan’s trip in Rome. “None of us thought it was that serious because there was so much swelling…so I didn’t want to scare my mom for no reason.”
Turns out, Newsome was in danger of losing his right leg.
“It was pretty close,” he said. “Not going into too much detail, but it was minutes.”
Apparently blood wasn’t reaching Newsome’s right calf, forcing doctors at U of M hospital to consider amputation.
“Obviously I suffered a pretty serious knee injury, was fortunate the doctors caught the severity of it early enough on and were able to get me into surgery that night and save my leg,” Newsome said on Tuesday. “Really fortunate with how everything happened, just trying to work through some of the lasting effects of the injury tight now.”
Newsome was kept in the hospital for 38 days, during which time he underwent six surgeries.
“It was just the nature of the injury, just a freak injury,” he explained.
Newsome was unable to walk upon being discharged, but took his first steps a few weeks later. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh commended his player again again for being so resilient.
“It’s a reminder of just how tough the game of football is. Just how serious injuries can be in the game of football. But what I do know is this: As far as character, human being character and football character, nobody’s ever come through this football team or this university — that I know of — with more of it than Grant Newsome,” Harbaugh told reporters in October.
Looking ahead to next season, Newsome’s status is unclear. In February, though, Harbaugh cast a vote of confidence for the sophomore, who started the first five games of the 2016 season at left tackle.
“He’ll play,” Harbaugh said, again commending his fighting spirit. “He’s tough as a two-dollar steak, but doing it with an incredible attitude. Do not count him out.”