Gophers coach Jerry Kill said Sunday that the team is strongly considering pulling a redshirt to bolster an injury-depleted offensive line.
Texas native Tyler Moore would be the likely choice to play left guard, where starter Jon Christenson is out at least two more games recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Senior Joe Bjorklund took Christenson’s place but is playing through his own knee injury.
“Joe’s not going to be healthy all year because he had major knee surgery where he’s got bone-on-bone,” Kill said. “So he’s playing out of the will to play, like Chandler Harnish did his senior year [at Northern Illinois]. And so that’s a tough injury. But he’ll fight and scrap and crawl and so forth.”
Moore was a consensus three-star recruit from North Shore High School in Houston. He enrolled at Minnesota in January and impressed the Gophers with his intensity during spring practice.
“We’re trying to redshirt five offensive linemen, but recruiting is going pretty good, so maybe we’re going to have to take one off somebody to add the depth that we need,” Kill said. “Wish I had a magic wand to see when Jon [Christenson’s] going to be back. I don’t have that.”
Kill mentioned possibly moving Josh Campion to guard, but that would require a replacement at Campion’s current spot, right tackle. So it’s sort of a hole-in-the-bucket situation until the team gets closer to full health.
Left tackle is another concern. Ben Lauer had knee surgery in August, which continues to limit him. Jonah Pirsig injured a shoulder at Colorado State and played with that injury against Kent State. Kill hopes both of those linemen are “one week healthier” next Saturday against Ohio. He also said he hopes to get tight end Brandon Lingen back from his concussion.