Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
MarQueis Gray has apparently been cleared to play, and is listed as the Gophers' backup quarterback, behind Max Shortell, for Saturday's game against Northwestern.
Gray, who suffered a sprained left ankle and left knee against Western Michigan on Sept. 15, returned to practice last Sunday and coach Jerry Kill estimated he was at "60 to 70 percent" of normal on Tuesday. But Gray was not included on the team's injury list released Thursday, indicating he has improved to the point where he could play Saturday.
The depth chart lists Gray and freshman Philip Nelson as backup quarterbacks, meaning Gray's status could change if he feels soreness on Saturday. But Kill would prefer not to disturb Nelson's redshirt status by using him this season.
Shortell will make his third start of the season, having rallied the Gophers past Western Michigan and to a victory over Syracuse before losing in Iowa two weeks ago.
Also listed on the depth chart and available to play: left guard Tommy Olson and center Zach Mottla, both listed as backups as they recover from ankle injuries, and defensive tackle Cameron Botticelli, expected to start after suffering an elbow injury at Iowa.
Offensive lineman Foster Bush has been declared out for Saturday, while tailback Devon Wright and defensive tackle Roland Johnson are questionable.
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