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Minnesota Football: Gophers release depth chart for Purdue

For the first time this season, there are some interesting developments on the latest depth chart

NCAA Football: Middle Tennessee at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have released their depth chart for Saturday’s road game against the Purdue Boilermakers, and there are a few interesting developments as head coach P.J. Fleck deals with injuries and suspensions.

Here is the depth chart:

Minnesota Football Depth Chart vs Purdue

For a larger version on mobile:

Just a few observations:

  • Antoine Winfield, Jr. is listed as the starter at safety, but I seriously doubt he’ll see the field on Saturday. Expect to see more Jacob Huff, with Kunle Ayinde and Ken Handy-Holly filling in at nickel and the other safety spot.
  • Freshman Ken Handy-Holly, who saw the first game action of his college career against Maryland, will start in place of the suspended Duke McGhee, who is expected to return next week. It’s certainly not an ideal situation, but don’t forget that Winfield was a freshman last year, too. We’ll see what Handy-Holly can do against Purdue.
  • Jared Weyler is listed as sharing starting center duties with Bronson Dovich, but this was also the case last week, so we won’t know his status until Saturday.
  • As expected, Phillip Howard takes over at wide receiver in place of the injured Demetrius Douglas, who is out for the year with a foot injury. Backing up Howard is converted quarterback Mark Williams, a redshirt freshman.
  • Rey Estes is listed at second-string cornerback behind Antonio Shenault. Estes was expected to see the field last week against Maryland, but was not listed in the participation report. We’ll see what this Saturday brings for the true freshman.
  • For some reason, freshman Malcolm Robinson has been added as third-string defensive tackle behind Steven Richardson. Interesting. Demry Croft has also been added as third-string quarterback, despite no indications that he has returned to the team.
  • Freshman Chris Autman-Bell, who hasn’t seen action all season, continues to be listed at second-string wide receiver behind Eric Carter, as a reminder that these depth charts can mean something or nothing. Nothing is certain until Saturday.