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Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Leidner illness affects Gophers' QBs

By Brian Bennett

Who will start at quarterback for Minnesota on Saturday against Nebraska? It might come down to health.

Acting head coach Tracy Claeys said Tuesday that Mitch Leidner is battling an illness and is taking medication. Because of that, Claeys is delaying his decision on whether Leidner or Philip Nelson will start on Saturday versus the Huskers.

The two quarterbacks have split starts this season, with Leidner getting the nod the past two games. Nelson came on in relief and had the better performance in the Gophers' 20-17 win at Northwestern last week. Claeys said that Minnesota needs both quarterbacks because they like to run the ball from that position so much, but he doesn't know yet how Leidner will recover from his illness.

Claeys also said that he expects coach Jerry Kill to attend the Nebraska game and be in the press box. Kill, who is on a medical leave of absence, surprised the team by making the Northwestern trip and gave the players an inspirational talk. Kill may also spend some time at practice this week.

"We'll take whatever he can give us," Claeys said.

Claeys also said that safety Brock Vereen would practice at cornerback this week and could play the position on Saturday if normal starter Derrick Wells (shoulder) isn't able to go.