Devin Crawford-Tufts rehabbed his left hamstring on Wednesday, and he will do it again on Thursday. And you can count on him following the same routine for the next several years, or however long his football career continues.
"It's just constant rehab. I'm in the training room all day, every day," the Gophers sophomore said, and that's only a slight exaggeration. So when can he stop? "I don't see any reason why I would," Crawford-Tufts said, a recognition of how fragile a sprinter's body can be. "I want to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Unfortunately for Crawford-Tufts, there is no way to guarantee that, but he says he has recovered from the hamstring strain he suffered last week, and he was back on the practice field with teammates on Wednesday. But he will be held out of Thursday's scrimmage, coach Jerry Kill said, just in case.
The injury to his left hamstring was similar to the one he suffered in a sectional track meet during his senior year at Edina, just not as severe; it required three days, not three weeks, of rehab before the pain subsided. "It's like someone is grabbing on to you when you try to move," said Crawford-Tufts, a likely starter this year. "You can't extend it."
Which is why Crawford-Tufts is a training-room regular now, doing range-of-motion exercises, high kicks over hurdles, stepping drills, and many others. "It's just to get all the movement back, and we do step-ups and push-offs to get the strength back," he said. "No one is ever 100 percent, not in football."
• The Gophers also will hold receivers Brandon Green, Derrick Engel and Andre McDonald out of the scrimmage, mostly to keep them healthy, Kill said.
• Plenty of young players will get on the field today, just to gauge how much progress they've made. "You don't want to make too many prejudgments [about new players] too early," Kill said of his 36 newcomers. "Some of the kids that were struggling early mentally are getting caught up."
• After a two-a-day session Friday, the Gophers will practice Friday night at TCF Bank Stadium and try to mimic the conditions of a gameday. The players will go through their pregame routines, wear full uniforms, and do gameday stretches in order to get used to the routine.