Dec 27, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers tight end Maxx Williams (88) catches a pass for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the Texas Bowl as Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Peter Westerhaus (18) defends at Reliant Stadium . Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Gophers tight end Maxx Williams will not have surgery on knee


Dec 27, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers tight end Maxx Williams (88) makes a reception during the second quarter of the Texas Bowl as Syracuse Orange safety Jeremi Wilkes (28) attempts to make a tackle at Reliant Stadium . Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

When tight end Maxx Williams was helped off the field in the waning moments of Minnesota’s 21-17 loss to Syracuse last Friday in the Texas Bowl, the Gophers feared for the worst.

The freshman from Waconia had played a pivotal role in carrying the Gophers to their second straight Texas Bowl, catching 25 passes for 417 yards and five touchdowns. But after taking a shot to the knee with under a minute on the clock and the Gophers mounting a comeback, it became clear he wasn’t going to be able to finish the game.

On Sunday, head coach Jerry Kill said that Williams’ injury won’t require surgery, however he’ll likely miss spring practice.

 “We certainly didn’t want to lose that kid during [spring practice] … We found out it’s not great but not as bad as it was. It won’t require surgery. So that started my new year right. We’re excited that it wasn’t as bad as we thought originally.”

Williams was a three-star recruit for the Gophers who wisely chose Minnesota over the Wisconsin Badgers. The 6-foot-4, 254 pound tight end was ranked No. 48 at his position in the nation last year according to Scout.com

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