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Update given on status of Ambry Thomas for season opener vs. MTSU

Jim Harbaugh did not rule out an appearance as early as Week 1.

Western Michigan v Michigan Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Michigan cornerback Ambry Thomas was dealing with colitis earlier in fall camp and his return timeline was not apparent at the time. In the last week or so, Thomas announced his return to the program heading into the 2019 season.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh was asked on Monday afternoon during his season-opening press conference about Thomas’ status and if he could return as early as this week and he detailed where things stand five days out from the opener against Middle Tennessee.

“Ambry has been back in meetings, position meetings,” Harbaugh said. “He is participating in portions of practice. And this week, in terms of whether he plays or or not, will be determined by him and the doctors.”

The process appears to still be ongoing and he is not quite yet full-go, but Harbaugh did mention a few standouts that have stepped up in his absence.

“Vince Gray has had a good camp,” Harbaugh said. “He’s had a good spring and a good summer. I’m excited for him. And Jaylen Kelly-Powell.”

Gemon Green and DJ Turner were both also named as potential players to watch at cornerback.

Michigan will play the night game opener this weekend and a noon kickoff against Army on Sept. 7, followed by a bye week on Sept. 14. The Wolverines do not need to rush Thomas back before they make their trip to Wisconsin on Sept. 21, but it sounds like the wheels are in motion to get Thomas physically and mentally ready, followed by a full practice load at some point.

Gray has been the first name to come up the last few weeks by multiple players and Harbaugh himself as someone that could wind up playing on the other side of Lavert Hill to start the year and the buzz on Monday does nothing to slow that down. Barring injury, it seems he may be the guy, at least starting out, when the team kicks off on Saturday night.

Hill spoke about Gray and more during his media availability on Monday.

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