Gophers injury report vs Western Illinois: No surprise additions
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Minnesota Gophers injury report -- Sept. 14 vs Western Illinois
RS junior RB Donnell Kirkwood (ankle sprain) -- Not listed
• Kirkwood was not listed on the Gophers' official injury report released on Thursday, but the redshirt junior is not expected to play Saturday.
Coach Jerry Kill said Wednesday he has been "encouraged" about Kirkwood's improvement since tweaking his ankle on a second half play in the Gophers' season opener against UNLV, but he isn't ready to test the ankle with live in-game reps.
"It doesn't matter who we're playing," Kill said. "He has to be 100% because we've got a long season."
Kirkwood, who did not make the trip last week to New Mexico State, was able to take a few limited, non-contact reps in practice on Wednesday. A return next week against San Jose State or one week later in the Gophers' Big Ten opener with Iowa appears most likely.
Sophomore Rodrick Williams Jr. and junior David Cobb -- the duo who combined for 204 yards on the ground last week at New Mexico State -- are expected to get the bulk of carries at tailback Saturday.
Freshman RB Berkley Edwards (ankle/knee sprain) -- Out
Edwards has been sidelined since the last week of fall camp, nursing a severe ankle and knee sprain. Kill said Wednesday Edwards' recovery is slightly behind where Kirkwood's injury rehab is in terms of when he will be able to return.
RS senior LT Ed Olson (ankle) -- Out
Trying to make a comeback from major offseason ankle surgery, Olson has been ruled out for the second consecutive week.
Marek Lenkiewicz, who has started the first two games at left tackle, was listed side-by-side with redshirt freshman Ben Lauer on the Gophers' latest depth chart. This hints at the possibility that a change could be seen on Saturday.
Earlier in the week, Kill mentioned unprompted that Lauer has been impressive in practice and the limited in-game snaps he has had.
A shakeup Saturday on the offensive line wouldn't be a complete surprise after offensive coordinator and O-line coach Matt Limegrover expressed Wednesday he has not been happy with his line's performance so far this season.
"We're not where we need to be to sustain what we're doing in the run game right now," Limegrover said. "That has been made very apparent to them ... I don't think we're there yet. Those guys need to understand that and need to stop reading the newspaper and continue to get better as we continue through this season."
RS freshman Nick Rallis (mono) -- Out
Rallis is set to miss his second game in a row, still battling the symptoms of mononucleosis. Redshirt sophomore Dominic Schultz has since moved into Rallis' spot on the depth chart.
RS junior TE Alex Bisch (foot) -- Out
Sidelined since early on in fall camp with a foot injury, Bisch has once again been ruled out. As the Gophers unveiled against UNLV, redshirt sophomore Ernie Heifort was moved from center to tight end largely to fill Bisch's spot.
RS freshman WR Jamel Harbison -- Probable
Kill has said that Harbison will be back Saturday after missing the first two games due to off-field discipline issues. Harbison is going to get a chance to play a key role in a receiver corps that has been mediocre at best in the first two games.
Junior CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (knee) -- Out for season
The Gophers' secondary suffered a heavy blow when Boddy-Calhoun, who had started two straight games, suffered a torn ACL and MCL on the second play of last Saturday's game against New Mexico State. He is scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday.
Sophomore WR Andre McDonald (suspension) -- Out for season
Kill announced on Sept. 3 that McDonald would be sitting the year out. McDonald was removed from the Gophers' 105-man fall camp roster midway through practice in August for unspecified violation of team policy. McDonald remains on the Gophers' full roster.