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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Posts about Gophers injuries

Kill says Cobb remains 'very questionable' for Wisconsin game

Posted by: Joe Christensen Updated: November 25, 2014 - 2:11 PM

Gophers coach Jerry Kill said Tuesday that running back David Cobb remains "very questionable" for Saturday's game at Wisconsin.

Kill added that Cobb would try to do some light jogging to test his strained left hamstring at Tuesday's practice.

Cobb strained the hamstring on a 17-yard touchdown run in last week’s win at Nebraska. The senior running back tweeted that night that he’d be ready for the Wisconsin game, which will determine the Big Ten title.

"That’s a great attitude because sometimes the mind -- if you’re down and negative and all that, sometimes you don’t heal up as quick," Kill said. "So I’m glad he’s positive. And hey, if he’s ready to go, we’re going to play him. There’s no doubt about that."

Cobb ranks ninth in the nation with 1,430 yards and needs just 35 more to break Laurence Maroney’s single-season school record, set in 2005.

Kill said he asked Cobb on the flight home from Nebraska if he was doing OK, and Cobb's response was, "Coach, I ain't missing this one."

On WCCO, Kill says Cobb's questionable for Wisconsin game

Posted by: Joe Christensen Updated: November 23, 2014 - 10:38 AM

Gophers coach Jerry Kill said Sunday on 830-AM that David Cobb (strained left hamstring) is questionable for next Saturday's game at Wisconsin. Kill also said Berkley Edwards suffered a concussion at Nebraska.

The winner of the game between the Gophers and Badgers will win the Big Ten West title and advance to the Big Ten title game against Ohio State.

"I think [Cobb's availability for the Wisconsin game] is a big question mark, and I think anytime you get a hamstring situation like that, it’s not an easy deal. So we’ll just have to see what happens. I told [Cobb] and Ed [head athletic trainer Ed Lochrie], 'Hey, you’ve got to get him ready to go.' But we’ll just have to see.

"But if he doesn’t go, Donnell [Kirkwood] and Rodrick [Williams] -- they’ll have to step it up. Hopefully we’ll get Berkley back because Berkley did some good things in the game, and then he got hit and got a concussion. So at the end of the game, we had two backs.

"So hopefully Berkley’s going to be OK, and David’s going to be OK. But if not, I know the other two young men will give us everything they’ve got, and that’s all you can ask."

Injury to keep Gophers safety Antonio Johnson out against Nebraska

Posted by: Joe Christensen Updated: November 20, 2014 - 1:51 PM

Gophers safety Antonio Johnson got hurt against Ohio State last week and won't be able to play at Nebraska on Saturday, coach Jerry Kill said Thursday on 100.3-FM.

Kill did not specify the injury. Johnson, a junior from Cleveland, ranks ninth on the team with 29 tackles and also has an interception.

"What it does is it hurts our depth a little bit," Kill said. "Cedric [Thompson] and Damarius [Travis] are going to have to play a lot of minutes. Grayson Levine will have to step up. Derrick Wells may have to play a little bit of safety. But we’re hoping that we can get [Johnson] back for the bowl game -- maybe next week. The kid’s really, really tough."

Kill on Wolitarsky: 'We may not have him the rest of the year'

Posted by: Joe Christensen Updated: November 6, 2014 - 4:11 PM

Gophers coach Jerry Kill has said the decision on whether to pull another redshirt at wide receiver could depend on how long Drew Wolitarsky is out with his sprained ankle.

Thursday, on 100.3-FM, Kill said, “It’s a tough situation right now because we’re not going to have Drew Wolitarsky [against Iowa], and we may not have him the rest of the year.”

Without Wolitarsky, the Gophers top three wide receivers are Isaac Fruechte, Donovahn Jones and KJ Maye. Kill has said Logan Hutton and Eric Carter are in the group of players who could see more playing time in Wolitarsky’s absence.

The Gophers brought true freshman receiver Jerry Gibson on the trip to Illinois, though he didn’t play. He could be next in line if the Gophers decide to burn his redshirt.

Wolitarsky doubtful for Iowa game; Pirsig could start in place of injured Lauer

Posted by: Joe Christensen Updated: November 4, 2014 - 2:53 PM

It sounds like the Gophers will be without wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky for Saturday's game against Iowa. Wolitarsky sprained his right ankle in the team's last game against Illinois.

"He's not practicing at all," coach Jerry Kill said. "He is very questionable, and I don't think he'll play."

Kill said Logan Hutton and Eric Carter are among the receivers who could see more playing time in Wolitarsky's absence. And it's still possible the Gophers will pull a freshman's redshirt.

Lauer update

Right tackle Ben Lauer also has been out with an ankle injury. Kill said Lauer hoped to practice today, but Jonah Pirsig is getting ready to start there, just as he did the first two games of the season.

"Jonah is improving every week, and he played sick [against Illinois], too," Kill said. "At halftime, he wasn't doing very well. He knew he had to stay in there and play. Sunday, he really had a good practice. The more you play, the more success you have, the more confidence in your game. But you know, we certainly need him right now. There's no doubt about that."


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