Following Michigan's 28-0 win at Maryland Saturday, Jim Harbaugh feared the worst for senior buck Mario Ojemudia.
Monday, Harbaugh confirmed the bleak outlook that Ojemudia would miss the rest of the season with an apparent achilles injury.
"Yeah that was the case," Harbaugh said. "We'll look within our roster, within our defense and see exactly what other guys (will step up)."
In nearly five full games, Ojemudia is third on the team with 19 total tackles, second on the team with six tackles for loss, also adding two sacks.
It appears Royce Jenkins-Stone and redshirt freshman Lawrence Marshall will be called upon to fill Ojemudia's shoes.
On the field nearly half the season, the injury to Ojemudia effectively ends his career, too late to request a medical redshirt.
"To my understanding, yeah," Harbaugh said.
As for De'Veon Smith and Channing Stribling, both of whom missed the trip to Maryland for injuries, Harbaugh believes both are expected on the practice field this week getting set for No. 13 Northwestern.
"I think they'll be back in some form or fashion today and then progress through the week," Harbaugh said. "We'll see how that goes."
With Smith out, Drake Johnson emerged against the Terrapins scoring two touchdowns including a 31-yard touchdown reception on a screen.
Ty Isaac meanwhile fumbled the ball twice and accounted for a personal foul penalty for roughing the punter.
Harbaugh was quite pleased with the production out of Johnson.
"(I'm) really impressed, the way (Johnson) accelerates into a tackler, where he can drop his shoulders and feed that shoulder pad into a defender ... it's really impressive," Harbaugh said.
"I would think you might want to tackle him maybe a couple of times in a game, but not much after that. He does a great job of accelerating to and through contact in a way that's explosive."
In Stribling's absence, Jeremy Clark stepped in admirably coming up with the third interception of this young season.
While the depth in the secondary continues to get stronger by the game, Harbaugh is eager to get Stribling back on the field.
"Channing, we really feel like we need him and want him out there," he said. "He's an ascending football player and our hopes are this was just a one week type of injury and our doctors, training staff and coaches can manage that and he can manage that to get back on the field."