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.
With Philip Nelson's hamstring injury about 75 percent healed, Gophers coach Jerry Kill said the team is heading toward Saturday's game against San Jose State assuming Mitch Leidner and Chris Streveler will be the top two quarterbacks on the depth chart.
"[Nelson] is throwing the football, handing off, but there’s been no burst or run," Kill said. "We’ll have to be careful. We won’t take any chances whatsoever."
Streveler is a true freshman, but Kill said the Gophers won't hesitate to use him.
"In our situation, the way we play, you can’t all of a sudden get conservative about what you do," Kill said. "Chris needs to be ready to play. The way I’m approaching it right now, if we were playing tomorrow, Chris is our No. 2 quarterback, and he needs to be ready to play. And if Mitch gets tired, we’re going to play him."
Donnell Kirkwood has been cleared to practice at full speed after recovering from his sprained ankle injury, but again, Kill plans to be cautious.
"He’s been able to practice full-speed, but I can watch him, and I know if he’s full-tilt or not," Kill said. "Anytime you sit out a period of time, it takes a while, unless you’re Adrian Peterson.
"We’ve got two good backs who’ve done a good job [Rodrick Williams and David Cobb], so we can be smart. We’ve gotta make sure we’ve got healthy bodies as we get into Big Ten."
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