Minnesota announced Sunday that defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. will miss the rest of the 2018 season.
Winfield Jr. injured his foot in the first quarter of Saturday's 42-13 loss to Maryland. The Gophers said the sophomore will have surgery on his foot on Monday.
"We are heartbroken for Antoine," head coach P.J. Fleck said in a statement. "I know he will keep his oar in the water, keep moving forward and will work tirelessly to return to the field next season."
Winfield Jr. was a key piece in Minnesota's defense and special teams this season. He collected a fumble recovery, 16 total tackles, a punt return for a touchdown and a game-sealing interception against Fresno State.
The Woodlands, Texas native was in a similar situation nearly one year ago. Winfield Jr. was poised to have a breakout season, but was injured in the fourth game of the 2017 season — a loss to Maryland — and missed the remainder of the Gophers' 5-7 season.
The team will shift focus to next year, as Minnesota intends to file a waiver with the NCAA that would grant a sixth year of eligibility and give Winfield Jr. three more years with the Gophers.