Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Kill back, Gray doubtful for Gophers
By Brian Bennett
There is good news and bad news for Minnesota in the health department.
First, it's great to see that Jerry Kill apparently does not appear to have any lingering ill effects from the seizure he suffered after Saturday's loss to Northwestern. Kill was hospitalized Saturday night but was released the next day. He said Tuesday that he's fully back to work and that everything is fine.
The news is not so good for quarterback MarQueis Gray. The senior returned to action last week after sitting for a few weeks with a high ankle sprain but reinjured it in the second half of the Northwestern game. Kill said Gray is in a walking boot and that he's back to where he was a couple of weeks ago with the injury, when he couldn't run full speed. He said the team is hopeful to get Gray jogging this week.
"It's frustrating for him," Kill said at his news conference. "He's doing well and then comes up and he just had some tough luck. That's all there is to it. But he'll battle back and find a way. Our deal is we just gotta find a way to keep him healthy."
Kill said Gray could get to 100 percent, but that the team would be cautious with him and won't play him if he's not close to fully healthy. So it appears Gray's status for this week's game against Wisconsin is doubtful, at best. That's a shame, because he was effective against the Wildcats last week, completing 7-of-11 passes for 66 yards and running nine times for 86 yards and a touchdown. He adds an explosiveness to the offense when he's on the field because of his versatility, and the Gophers even lined him up at receiver a couple of times Saturday.
The pressure will be on sophomore Max Shortell to perform well at quarterback versus the Badgers. Shortell performed well in his start versus Syracuse but threw three interceptions in a loss at Iowa. Last week, he completed just 9-of-19 passes for 103 yards. The Wisconsin defense won't have to worry about a quarterback running the ball, either.