Gophers safety Antoine Winfield Jr., who was lost for the season Sept. 22 at Maryland, suffered a Lisfranc injury to his left foot that included a torn ligament but not a broken bone, coach P.J. Fleck said Tuesday.

A Lisfranc injury results when bones in the midfoot area are broken or ligaments are torn.

Winfield underwent surgery last week, and the Gophers plan to seek a waiver from the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility for Winfield, a third-year sophomore.

This is the second consecutive year Winfield was lost for the season to injury. Last year, also against Maryland, he suffered a hamstring injury.

“Eventually, really good things are going to happen to him,’’ Fleck said.

Howden starting

The Gophers released their depth chart for Saturday’s game against Iowa, and the secondary had a couple of changes. Listed as the starter in Winfield’s place is true freshman walk-on Jordan Howden, who filled in at that spot during the Maryland game. True freshmen Benny Sapp III and Josh Aune are both listed behind Howden.

Cornerback Kiondre Thomas, who was suspended for the Maryland game because of an undisclosed disciplinary reason, will be available to play, Fleck said. He is listed as a backup behind Coney Durr.


• During his weekly radio show on KFXN-FM, Fleck said that he plans to play true freshmen offensive linemen Curtis Dunlap Jr. and Daniel Faalele only three more games and then preserve a season of eligibility. Both played in the opener but haven’t since.

• Running back Rodney Smith, who was lost for the season to a torn ACL in his left knee suffered in the Sept. 8 game against Fresno State, underwent surgery last week, Fleck said.

• Fleck estimated that true freshman quarterback Zack Annexstad is “probably 85-90 percent’’ healthy. Annexstad sprained his left ankle Sept. 22 against Miami (Ohio) and has continued to play through it. “You can’t really tell [he’s injured] as much as you could before. … He looks really good.’’

• Fleck gave a tip of the hat to Paul Molitor, the former Gophers baseball great who was fired as Twins manager on Tuesday. “I wish Paul Molitor all the best,’’ he said. “I became pretty close to him, and it’s a shame he lost his job today.’’