Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck deployed large amounts of secrecy, gamesmanship or maybe a mix of both Tuesday in saying that his team has lost some players for the season ... but not identifying which ones.
“We got healthier in some areas,” Fleck said of how his team came out of its bye week. “We’re still in the same boat in other areas, because we have some season-ending ones that are going to affect us pretty quickly.”
When pressed at the news conference on which players are out for the year, Fleck responded, “A few guys,” but did not elaborate.
One area that might be affected is the secondary, where cornerback Zo Craighton suffered a leg injury late in the victory over Middle Tennessee on Sept. 16. Fleck on Monday said Craighton’s absence could be for an extended period but that he’d know more on Wednesday or Thursday.
“I might have to play guys that I planned on redshirting, which doesn’t help you for the future, but it’s the only option we have right now,” Fleck said Tuesday.
That situation might apply to true freshman Rey Estes, who switched from quarterback to cornerback during training camp.
“If Rey Estes has to play, remember, five weeks ago, he was a quarterback,” Fleck said. “When you start talking about developing DBs, that’s what we have to do.”
The Gophers on Tuesday morning released their depth chart — which, as always, is subject to change — for Saturday’s game against Maryland, and it had no major changes. Center Jared Weyler, who did not play in the Middle Tennessee game and had a boot on his left foot, was listed as an “or” starter with Bronson Dovich.
Wide receiver Rashad Still, who was suspended for the last game because of undisclosed disciplinary reasons, was listed as second-team wide receiver.
Terps down to third QB
Maryland likely will start its third-string quarterback on Saturday against the Gophers.
Terrapins coach DJ Durkin announced that freshman Kasim Hill suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament last week against Central Florida and will be lost for the season. Maryland’s starter to open the season, sophomore Tyrrell Pigrome, tore an ACL against Texas.
That leaves sophomore Max Bortenschlager as the Terps’ top QB. Bortenschlager took over for Hill in the 38-10 loss to Central Florida. He went 15-for-26 for 132 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions, one that was returned for a TD.
“I know they’ve had some quarterback things, but remember, Tom Brady was a backup at one point, too,” Fleck said. “Not only with the Patriots, but he was the backup at Michigan, too. And he’s the greatest quarterback of all time.
“This kid has worked incredibly hard, No. 18. … He’s just been waiting for his opportunity.’’