Minnesota QB Morgan uncertain for next game with concussion

Published 2:24 am Wednesday, November 20, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS — The status of quarterback Tanner Morgan is uncertain for 11th-ranked Minnesota’s game at Northwestern after back-to-back sacks in the last game put the sophomore in the concussion protocol.

Coach P.J. Fleck said Tuesday that Morgan has made progress this week, but the Big Ten’s leading passer has not been cleared. The Gophers (9-1, 6-1) play Saturday against the Wildcats (2-8, 0-7), with a one-game lead in the West Division on Wisconsin. They finish the regular season Nov. 30 against the Badgers.

Morgan could be a game-time decision. If he doesn’t play, either Jacob Clark or Cole Kramer would start. They’re both true freshmen that Fleck would prefer to keep at the four-game limit to preserve their redshirt status.

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“Whoever plays better in practice this week, if it comes down to it. It’s a competition between Jacob and Cole, and they’re both getting better. They’re both working really hard. They’ve both made a ton of progress. They both had a lot thrown at them,” Fleck said.

Clark is from Rockwall, Texas. Kramer is a Minnesota native from Eden Prairie, about 20 miles southwest of the university. Zack Annexstad would have been the backup, but he injured his foot in the first week of preseason practice. Annexstad started the first six games of the 2018 season as a true freshman, before injuries and related struggles paved the way for Morgan to claim the job.

Though the Gophers went 4-2 after he took over last year, Morgan truly hit his stride this season. He’s first in the conference with an average of 246.8 passing yards per game and fifth in the FBS with an average of 10.8 yards per attempt.