Gophers lose starting DT Scott Ekpe to knee injury

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota defensive tackle Scott Ekpe may miss the rest of the season because of a significant injury to his right knee.

Coach Jerry Kill declined Tuesday to give specifics, but he called the news on the junior a ”major blow” to the Gophers. Ekpe was in line to replace Ra’Shede Hageman, a second-round NFL draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons, but he was hurt in the first quarter of the opener last week against Eastern Illinois.

Two other defensive linemen, Alex Keith and Yoshoub Timms, left that game with leg injuries, too. Kill said their conditions aren’t as serious as Ekpe, but the coach had no update on whether they’d be able to play Saturday against Middle Tennessee.