Minnesota wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell, a multiyear starter, will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining a lower-leg injury in Saturday’s win against Colorado.
Autman-Bell, a sixth-year senior who led the team in receiving in 2021, will undergo surgery, coach P.J. Fleck announced Monday. Autman-Bell suffered the injury on a non-contact play while trying to catch a pass in the second quarter of Minnesota’s 49-7 win. He leads Minnesota in receptions (11) and receiving yards (214).
“He’s a big member of this football team,” Fleck said after the game. “I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t one of the most integral parts of what we do and how we do it.”
Autman-Bell has played in 47 games for Minnesota and has 125 career catches for 1,970 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has made a reception in each of his past 41 games, the longest active streak in the FBS. Minnesota will ask the NCAA for a seventh year of eligibility for Autman-Bell but will leave the decision up to him on whether to play in 2023.
The Gophers are 3-0 and receiving votes in both polls entering this week’s Big Ten opener at Michigan State. Wide receivers such as Michael Brown-Stephens, Clay Geary and Dylan Wright will be expected to step up in Autman-Bell’s absence.