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.

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Gophers notes: Engel, Wolitarsky, McDonald, Jones, Streveler

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gopher quarterbacks, Gophers injuries, Gophers preseason practice Updated: August 21, 2013 - 4:05 PM

Opening Night is one week from tomorrow. Here are some quick notes from Wednesday's practice:

* WR Derrick Engel (groin injury) hasn’t been cleared for contact, but he went through some individual drills today.

* WR Drew Wolitarsky (hamstring injury) has been back at practice the past two days, but the freshman has some catching up to do.

* Asked if the game plan changes with Andre McDonald out (violation of team rules), offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said, “Not really because, to be honest with you, Andre had a lot of work that he needed to do to really be a force for us. He would have had that opportunity, had he been able to stick around. But you know, we’re really starting to get comfortable with five or six [receivers], and I think those guys are feeling good.

“Other than maybe getting nicked up a little bit here or there in practice, I think we’re going to be healthy and we’re going to have a pretty good group.”

* CB Marcus Jones, who has fully recovered from a second ACL surgery in his knee, will be one of the players returning kicks and/or punts this year.

“You always go back to trust factor, and Marcus has [returned kicks] in a game,” Coach Jerry Kill said. “So I can tell you he will be a part of the mix. He’s has experience and you can’t replace experience.”

* Limegrover on reserve quarterback Chris Streveler: “It’s like that light bulb’s come on, kind of like what happened with [Philip Nelson] about Week 3 of fall camp [last year]. [Streveler] went through the spring, had his ups and downs. Early part of camp, wasn’t really feeling comfortable and all of a sudden, the light bulb went on. We’re pretty excited and pretty encouraged about Chris, especially the last four or five days.”

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