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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Sunday update: Leidner, Nelson, Kirkwood and Kill

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gopher coaches, Gophers injuries Updated: September 15, 2013 - 1:37 PM

The Gophers had planned to mix backup quarterback Mitch Leidner into Saturday's game even before starter Philip Nelson injured his right hamstring, offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said Sunday.

Leidner's performance in the 29-12 victory over Western Illinois only reinforced the team's thinking that either of these two quarterbacks can lead the offense, Limegrover said, hinting that both will have a role to play, regardless of injuries, moving forward.

The team had no update on Nelson's injury, but it doesn't appear to be serious.

Limegrover also said that all signs point to tailback Donnell Kirkwood being able to return from his sprained ankle injury for next Saturday's game against San Jose State.

Coach Jerry Kill was home resting when Limegrover and defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys met with the team's beat writers. Those two assistants, who have worked under Kill for 15 and 19 years respectively, seemed extremely confident that Kill would bounce back quickly from his latest seizure.

I'll have more on these developments in tonight's first editions.

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