EVANSTON, ILL. – Gophers linebacker Cody Lindenberg, listed as questionable before Saturday night's 37-34 overtime loss at Northwestern, did not play for the fourth consecutive game because of a leg injury.
Wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell also was listed as questionable on the Big Ten availability report released two hours before kickoff. Autman-Bell participated in pregame warmups and got in the game.
Lindenberg was questionable for the second consecutive week and has not played this season because of a leg injury suffered during the week leading up to the season opener against Nebraska. The fourth-year player with sophomore eligibility is the Gophers' leading returning tackler from 2022.
Autman-Bell missed the Nebraska and Eastern Michigan games and returned for last week's game at North Carolina. The seventh-year senior, recovering from a knee injury that ended his 2022 season in the fourth game, was targeted with one pass but did not make a reception against the Tar Heels.
Also listed as questionable was senior running back Bryce Williams, who missed the past two games. Williams participated in pregame warmups and entered the game on the Gophers' first possession. He rushed five times for 16 yards, including back-to-back carries in overtime.
Listed as out for the Gophers were defensive lineman Darnell Jefferies and linebacker Derik LeCaptain, who are both out for the season, and defensive lineman Lucas Finnessy and defensive back Craig McDonald (NCAA transfer waiver issues).
Cornerback Justin Walley briefly left the game in the first quarter because of injury but returned. Safety Darius Green was shaken up in the first quarter but also returned to the game.
Homecoming for 15 from Illinois
Gophers safety Tyler Nubin, a fifth-year senior, looked forward to Saturday's game because it was the final collegiate game he will play in his home state. He's from the western Chicago suburb of St. Charles, Ill.
"I've got like 30 people on the ticket list this week," Nubin said Wednesday. "So, I'm trying to get a couple extra tickets. It's gonna be a great homecoming. I can't wait.''
Quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis, who's from Antioch on the Illinois-Wisconsin border, was asked Wednesday if his family's restaurant, Corniciones Pizzeria, would be handling the Friday dinner for the Gophers.
"That's a good question," he said, laughing. "Hopefully. … I gotta go back and get some pizza soon. I miss it. You gotta try it out. It's amazing."
Nubin and Kaliakmanis are two of the 15 Illinois natives on the Gophers roster. Only Minnesota, with 34, has more players in the Gophers roster than Illinois. Coach P.J. Fleck is from Sugar Grove, Ill.
• During his pregame interview on KFXN-FM, Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle said he visited both the Big Ten Office and Conference Center in Rosemont, Ill., and the Big Ten Network headquarters in Chicago on Saturday. Coyle sat in with members of the conference's officiating staff as they evaluated officials' work during games.
• Northwestern entered Saturday with an 11-game losing streak against teams from Power Five conferences. The Wildcats had scored nine points or fewer in seven of those losses.
• Craig Hendrickson, a tackle who played for the Gophers in 1989 and '90, gave the speech during Saturday's captains' breakfast.