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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Nelson to practice, despite hip injury; Engel's questionable with sprained ankle; Kill to coach from booth again

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gopher coaches, Gopher quarterbacks, Gophers injuries Updated: November 5, 2013 - 3:05 PM

Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson knew he’d be sore after getting a hip pointer injury in Saturday’s win at Indiana. But Nelson is managing the pain, and he said he’d be able to practice Tuesday afternoon.

 “It’s just a little painful, but the good thing with hips is they can’t get much worse,” Nelson said. “And the only way you can make them better is by continuing to keep moving them, so that’s where I’m at right now.”

In other injury news, Gophers coach Jerry Kill said wide receiver Derrick Engel is questionable for Saturday’s game against Penn State because of a sprained ankle.

“He’s going to be limited [in practice] today, and we’ll see how his progression goes through the week,” Kill said. “He’s got an ankle sprain, and didn’t do much on Sunday, ran a little this morning. … He’s not running full speed. We’ll know more Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and he’s going to do everything he can to be ready.”

Kill said he plans to coach from the press box again Saturday, with Tracy Claeys remaining on the sideline as acting head coach.

“I guess I’m CEO right now, and me in the box right now is the best for the football team and the best for the coach,” Kill said. “And you have to have somebody operating down on the field, an Tracy’s the guy that needs to do that.

“If there’s a situation where if it’s a difficult situation, and I need to come down [to the sideline], then I’m going to do what’s best for the football team, and I’m going to suck it up. Coach [Claeys] is doing a good job.

“I called plays for a lot of years on the boundary. It’s not easy but you can do it, and he’s a pretty gifted, smart, guy.

“Right now, it all goes back to – we’ve won three straight games, and I know from being up in the box, actually I can see better. So I can be a part of a lot of things, and I’ve got people I trust. So why fix something that’s working? My ego’s not that big.”

After Tuesday’s press conference, Kill sat down for an interview with ESPN’s Samantha Ponder for a segment that will run as part of “College GameDay” on Saturday morning.

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