MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota running back Shannon Brooks will redshirt the 2018 season with a lower-body injury that will require surgery.

Coach P.J. Fleck said Tuesday, as the Gophers began spring practice, that Brooks will return to action as a fifth-year senior in 2019. He missed six games last season due to injuries, rushing for 369 yards on 79 attempts. Brooks has 20 total touchdowns in 28 career games. His absence leaves Rodney Smith as the only experienced ball carrier.

With no quarterbacks on the roster who've thrown a pass in a game yet for the Gophers, Fleck said sophomores Vic Viramontes and Seth Green and freshmen Tanner Morgan and Zack Annexstad will get equal time early in the spring sessions. Viramontes, a junior college transfer, could have the inside track to be the starter.