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Minnesota Football: Chris Autman-Bell suffers leg injury during practice drill

The Gophers’ passing game may have suffered a setback

Minnesota v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

The wide receiver position is one of the biggest marks for the Minnesota Golden Gophers heading into the fall and that question mark may have grown in size Thursday following the news that Chris Autman-Bell was injured while participating in a full-contact practice drill.

During a one-on-one drill, Autman-Bell landed awkwardly after being tackled from behind by linebacker James Gordon. He remained on the turf while the medical staff attended to him. Once Autman-Bell had been helped to the sideline, The Star Tribune’s Randy Johnson reported that they appeared to be checking his right knee. He was taken to the locker room and did not return.

Head coach P.J. Fleck is tight-lipped when it comes to publicly discussing injuries, so it’s unlikely we’ll hear much about Autman-Bell’s status prior to the season opener against Ohio State on Thursday, Sept. 2, at TCF Bank Stadium. But if the injury is serious, it is a devastating blow to the Gophers’ passing game. Autman-Bell is far and away the most experienced wide receiver on the roster and was expected to be quarterback Tanner Morgan’s top target this fall after recording 22 receptions, 430 receiving yards, and one touchdown last season.