Michigan cornerback Countess out for season

by Nickalas Tabbert

Michigan will be without one of its starting cornerbacks for the rest of the season.

The school announced Monday that sophomore Blake Countess suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the first quarter of the team's 41-14 loss to Alabama on Saturday.

Countess was injured when covering a punt with 11:18 remaining in the quarter and was hit by Alabama's Kenny Bell, USA Today reported. He hopped off the field and spent the rest of the game on crutches.

He was replaced by cornerback Courtney Avery, who was targeted two series later on a 51-yard touchdown pass. After that, Raymon Taylor manned the corner opposite J.T. Floyd.

"Obviously Blake's a talented ballplayer, but the next guy steps up," Michigan co-captain Jordan Kovacs said after Saturday's game. "I thought Ray played pretty well. I don't think that affected our game plan at all."

Michigan has now lost four players for the season to injury: Countess, defensive end Chris Wormley, linebacker Kaleb Ringer and offensive lineman Chris Bryant.

The Gophers host the Wolverines on Nov. 3 at TCF Bank Stadium.