Gophers star linebacker Kamal Martin injured versus Rutgers
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Gophers senior linebacker Kamal Martin hurt his right knee and didn't return to play Rutgers at SHI Stadium on Saturday.
The Burnsville native led Minnesota with 41 tackles in the first half of the season and was contributing to another stop when his leg appeared to buckle in the third quarter. He immediately went to the ground and grabbed his knee.
Martin spent more than 13 minutes in the injury tent on the sideline before he was carted off the field and into the locker room.
Martin added a team-high five total tackles when he departed Saturday's game. Without Martin, the Gophers brought in Mariano Sori-Marin.
Martin, a top NFL draft prospect, also leads Minnesota with two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Gophers placeholder Casey O'Brien, a four-time cancer survivor, made his collegiate debut when he held an extra point in the fourth quarter against Rutgers. Teammates modded him on the field.
Later, O'Brien took a bad snap and got it down for another hold. Both kicks were good.
During pregame warm-ups, the Gophers wore "Roll Model" T-shirts to honor former Rutgers linebacker Eric LeGrand, who suffered a spinal cord injury during a 2010 game. Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck was on staff at Rutgers during that game.
Gophers tight end Ko Kieft and cornerback Terell Smith did not travel to New Jersey due to unspecified injuries. ... Associate Athletics Director John Cunningham said on KFAN that Minnesota's games in November against Penn State and Wisconsin will be either 11 a.m., 2:30 or 3 p.m. kickoffs. They've declined to have those be night games.
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