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Minnesota Football: Mitch Leidner, Jonah Pirsig Out vs Rutgers

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The Conor Rhoda saga gets another chapter with the Gophers’ senior quarterback sidelined again

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The Gophers’ released their depth chart for this Saturday’s Homecoming game against Rutgers earlier this morning, and both quarterback Mitch Leidner (concussion) and offensive tackle Jonah Pirsig (ankle) are listed as out. This means Minnesota will again lean on former walk-on Conor Rhoda under center and late JUCO transfer signee Donnell Greene at left tackle for another game. Garrison Wright, who was hobbled against Maryland with an ankle injury, is back starting at right tackle.

Brandon Lingen, who returned against Maryland after being sidelined for weeks with a broken clavicle, has worked his way back onto the depth chart, with Nate Wozniak continuing to hold down the starting spot at tight end. Linebacker Cody Poock is off the injury report but not listed on the depth chart, so I expect his playing time on Saturday will be determined by his performance in practice this week.

Other than that, nothing new to report, thankfully. The Gophers appear to be getting healthy for the most part, aside from the injuries to Leidner and Pirsig. It’s obviously concerning that Leidner is out another week after the concussion he suffered against Iowa. For his sake, I hope his recovery is going well and that there have been no adverse setbacks aside from the standard concussion symptoms. I don’t think anyone wants to see him back on the field until he is fully recovered.

In the meantime, Conor Rhoda will have a chance to prove himself against Rutgers after a serviceable but uninspiring performance at Maryland. I expressed concerns in the postgame breakdown that his play in that game was not a sustainable recipe for success moving forward, so hopefully Rhoda can take another step and get something going in the passing game now that he has his first collegiate start under his belt. The Gophers can ill afford to let the passing game stagnate.