Gophers tight end Duke Anyanwu suffered an apparent right knee injury Saturday in the team’s second practice.
Anyanwu went over the middle in an 11-on-11 drill and fell to the ground, trying to catch a pass from Chris Streveler. Anyanwu was in obvious pain and had to be helped off the field by the team’s trainers.
Coach Jerry Kill declined to comment on the injury but said of Anyanwu, “Great kid. Ain’t none better than Duke. Great kid.”
Anyanwu played quarterback at Blaine High School and converted to tight end with the Gophers. He torn an ACL during captain’s practice in 2012 – not sure if it was the same knee – and took that year as a redshirt. UPDATE: I'm told it was his other knee that time, so that's definitely good news.
Anyanwu broke a forearm during spring practice in 2013 and was limited to one game, on special teams, last fall. But Kill called Anyanwu one of the team’s most improved players this year during spring practice.
Anyanwu led the team with three receptions in the spring game, and quarterback Mitch Leidner raved about the speed Anyanwu has shown during summer workouts. Leidner and other players looked visibly shaken watching Anyanwu being taken off the field today.
Kill's wife, Rebecca, was among those who went over to comfort Anyanwu through his dismay.
As written here for today's editions, the Gophers have a plethora of tight end options, but Anyanwu will definitely be missed if he's out for an extended time.