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Gophers (again) forced to play without top receiver Chris Autman-Bell

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Gophers (again) forced to play without top receiver Chris Autman-Bell

The return of Chris Autman-Bell has been interrupted.

The Gophers top receiver missed the first two games with an ankle injury but returned to have a team-high four receptions for 76 yards in the 30-0 win over Colorado last week.

Then on the first play of Saturday’s game against Bowling Green, Autman-Bell caught a pass for nine yards, got tackled and got up limping. He stayed in the game for the next play, but then exited. He had the joint tapped up and he tried to get loose but didn’t return during the first half.

Without him and with poor offensive line play, Minnesota’s offense sputtered with only 94 yards and trailed Bowling Green 7-3 at halftime.

It’s the same spot Autman-Bell hurt during an horse-collar tackle in training camp practice Aug. 12 and he missed the first two games, making his return to play Sept. 18.

BRIEFLY

The Gopher will pay Bowling Green $1.45 million to play the nonconference game, according to the contract between the two programs. The U will pay the same sum to the Falcons for them to return for a game in 2025. Defensive tackle Rashad Cheney missed his second straight game after playing in the opening two games. The reason is unknown. …. Linebacker Cody Lindenberg, who played in the first three games, had a protective boot on his left foot Saturday. … Linemen Curtis Dunlap Jr. and MJ Anderson were dinged up vs. Buffaloes, but played against Bowling Green.

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