Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner is going through the concussion protocol and is out for Saturday's game at Maryland, coach Tracy Claeys said Tuesday.
Conor Rhoda, a former walk-on from Cretin-Derham Hall, is listed as the starting quarterback, with Demry Croft as the backup.
Claeys said Leidner's concussion symptoms didn't show until after Saturday's game against Iowa. On Sunday, when asked specifically about a possible concussion for Leidner, Claeys dismissed it. But the coach had yet to meet with the team's medical staff when he made that comment.
"After the game there was [concern], but I didn't have any knowledge of it," Claeys said. "They didn't think it was that serious. I have had other times when [head trainer Kammy Powell] and the doctors have called me after games and told me about things."
Leidner played the whole game against Iowa, completing 13 of 33 passes for 166 yards with two interceptions. He took hits, including a big one when he ran toward the sideline in the third quarter. He was slow getting up from that hit but then got up and ran back to the field.
On KFAN (100.3-FM), Claeys said Leidner was checked when he came out after that series.
"I know that there's a [medical] spotter in the booth, white hats," Claeys said in his press conference. "All of the officials have the authority to stop the game, if they notice anything. Nobody on our sidelines, so he ended up having the symptoms after the game. Even after I talked to him as a team and that, I guess, after he went over and sat down."
Rhoda is a junior who has played only sparingly throughout his career.
"I talked to Rhoda this morning," wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky said. "I told him, 'Hey, it’s on us this week.' So we’re going to get together, watch film, get him prepared. He’s excited. I saw the big smile on his face. Obviously we’re going to miss Mitch out there, but he’ll still be at practice, coaching Rhoda up, getting with him as well."
Pirsig out 2-3 weeks
Claeys also said right tackle Jonah Pirsig has a high ankle sprain and will likely miss two to three weeks. Tight end Brandon Lingen and safety Antoine Winfield have been cleared to practice.
The Gophers also list Cody Poock as out for the Maryland game. It's worth noting that the Gophers listed Rashad Still and Tai'yon Devers as out at this time last week, and both of them played against Iowa.