The inevitable happened on Saturday, as Robinson left Michigan's game with Bowling Green with six minutes left in the first half after suffering an apparent injury to his left knee after being tackled near the sideline on a 47-yard run.
Robinson had already rushed for 128 yards on five carries -- scoring on runs of two and 47 yards -- and completed 4-of-4 passes for 60 yards as Michigan took a 21-0 lead.
The extent of his injury was not known early Saturday afternoon.
I told you all last week, we can't be running him 29 times again. We ran him 28,'' Rodriguez said in the post-game press conference at Notre Dame Stadium. 'Had he not scored on the last play, he may have had 29.
''Denard getting tackled by third-level players and the secondary is not as bad as the big guys up front. Sometimes he got tackled by the big guys up front, but a lot of times today I think it was second- and third-level players. And he's fast enough that htey don't get a whole lot of straight-on shots on him, I hope.''
It was hard not to cringe at Rodriguez' flawed explanation. It's the indirect shots from second- and -third-level players moving at full speed that often do the most damage. I don't think it was some hulking defensive lineman who nailed Robinson 47 yards downfield today.
Hopefully, Robinson's injury is not serious. But if it is, it will part of a bizarre trend with Notre Dame ties: Each of the three teams that Notre Dame has played this season has suffered a key loss.
Purdue wide receiver Keith Smith -- who led the Big Ten in receptions and yardage last year -- suffered a season-ending knee injury against Western Illinois the week after playing Notre Dame. Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack hours after the Spartans' victory over the Irish in overtime last week. And now Denard Robinson -- the one that might have the biggest impact on the college football landscape.