LARRY LAGE AP Sports Writer
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara has entered the transfer portal, team spokesman Dave Ablauf confirmed on Monday.
McNamara had a season-ending injury to his right knee on Sept. 17 against Connecticut, one game after J.J. McCarthy won the starting job.
McCarthy will lead the second-ranked Wolverines against Purdue on Saturday night in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis, needing a win to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Last year, McNamara helped Michigan end an eight-game losing streak to rival Ohio State and go on to win the conference championship for the first time since 2004. The third-team All-Big Ten player in 2021 threw for 2,576 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions.
McNamara, who is from Reno, Nevada, can potentially play at another school for two seasons. He redshirted as a freshman in 2019 and the NCAA has given any student-athlete from the 2020-21 school year an extra year of eligibility.
Michigan made the call early in the season
Coach Jim Harbaugh allowed McNamara and McCarthy to start a game this season before deciding who would be the first-string quarterback. That did not sit well with the returning starter.
“I would definitely say it’s pretty unusual,” said McNamara, sounding surly, after a win over Colorado State in his last start. “It was kind of a thing that I wasn’t expecting. By the end of camp, I thought I had my best camp and put myself in a good position.”
Earlier this month, McNamara posted a picture of himself in a wheelchair with a brace over a protective wrap on his right leg after being under the care of Los Angeles Rams and Dodgers team doctor Neal ElAttrache.
“Turns out I have been dealing with a serious injury since the middle of last season,” McNamara wrote on Instagram. “Then, after suffering another serious knee injury this season, my goal was to get back on the field as soon as possible. Sadly I was unable to heal properly but thanks to Dr. ElAttrache he was able help me determine exactly what I needed to do to come back the best version of myself. What lies ahead is a lot of work and rehab but I will come back better than ever!”