Gophers’ leading tackler Kamal Martin was out injured against Maryland on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.
The weak-side linebacker avoided serious injury after his right knee appeared to buckle in the third quarter of the 42-7 win over Rutgers last week. He left the field on a cart and exited the stadium on crutches.
But Fleck called Martin a “game-time decision” on Monday and Tuesday, while adding Martin would miss practices but could still play because of his understanding and talent. Martin did not suit up Saturday.
Martin, who leads the team with 46 tackles, will now have two weeks of rest and rehab with a bye on Nov. 2 and a potential top 15 matchup with Penn State in Minneapolis on Nov. 9.
When Martin was out for a suspension against South Dakota State in the season opener and a foot injury versus Georgia Southern, sophomore Mariano Sori-Marin started both games. Sori-Marin took reps with the first team in warmups Saturday.
Saturday was donned the “Mental Health Awareness Game,” an effort by the Gophers program to help erase the stigma of people seeking help.
“Too many times I think in our society we think that young people should grow up how we grew up,” Fleck said. “I just don’t agree with that. I think times change. Change is inevitable. I think that I’m very thankful to work here because our athletic director our president are always behind resources. How can we give them more resources?”
For those seeking resources, check out suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 800-273-8244.
The Gophers were also without backup safety and key special teams player, Tyler Nubin. The freshman did not suit up for the game. But tight ends Jake Paulson and Ko Kieft, who missed the Rutgers rout, warmed up to play Saturday.