Gophers cornerback Zo Craighton and wide receiver Melvin Holland Jr. will miss the rest of the season because of injuries suffered in their last game, a source told the Star Tribune.
Craighton, a sophomore, suffered a leg injury late in the fourth quarter Sept. 16 against Middle Tennessee.
Holland, a junior, injured an ankle.
Craighton was listed as a backup to starter Antonio Shenault and had seven tackles (six solo), two pass breakups and two passes defended in three games.
He made five tackles, a career high, in the 34-3 win over Middle Tennessee.
Holland played on special teams in each game this season. He has two receptions in his Gophers career.
The absence of Craighton could mean that true freshman Rey Estes, who converted from quarterback to cornerback during training camp, will be pressed into action and won't be redshirted this year, as coach P.J. Fleck had hoped.
"I might have to play guys that I planned on redshirting, which doesn't help you for the future but it's the only option we have right now," Fleck said Tuesday. "And if it's the only option we have, I have to use it."
Defensive coordinator Robb Smith sees Estes as improving.
"It's a little bit new for him on the defensive side of the ball, but I think he has some innate coverage skills because he's a competitor," Smith said Wednesday.
"Those are things we've got to continue to polish and fine-tune."
The Gophers, who were idle last weekend, return to action against Maryland in their Big Ten opener Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. Fleck did not disclose specific injury information earlier this week leading up to that game.
The coach said Tuesday that "a few" players had been lost for the season without naming them.