The Gophers will have wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky back from his concussion for Saturday’s game against Northwestern, but several others, including cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun, remain questionable.
Coach Jerry Kill said Tuesday that Wolitarsky returned to practice Sunday after getting injured Saturday against Ohio. Kill also had good news from Boddy-Calhoun’s MRI exam, saying the All-Big Ten cornerback won’t need surgery for his knee injury.
But as Kill said, “Our whole secondary is a question mark, except for [cornerback] Eric Murray.” That’s an indication the Gophers still are waiting to see if safety Antonio Johnson (concussion) and cornerback KiAnte Hardin (ankle) will be available Saturday.
Kill said safety Damarius Travis (hamstring) will remain out for the Northwestern game.
The Gophers boast four senior starters in their secondary — Boddy-Calhoun, Murray, Travis and Johnson — but Murray was the only one who finished the Ohio game. Is this defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys’ worst nightmare?
“No, no, my worst nightmare would be to be 0-4,” Claeys said. “Injuries are part of the game. I mean, they just are, and you line up and you play the healthy ones and you do the best you can. Our kids are capable enough to get it done.”
The Gophers will have the same five starters on the offensive line this week, Kill said, meaning last week’s shoulder setback won’t slow left tackle Jonah Pirsig.
“That’s huge from a continuity standpoint,” offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said. “Those guys are working together, getting comfortable with each other.”