MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -

Minnesota has all but ruled out quarterback MarQueis Gray of this week's game because of a sprained left ankle.

Coach Jerry Kill said Tuesday that he told Gray his goal should be to heal enough to be Max Shortell's backup when the Gophers host Syracuse on Saturday night. Kill noted Gray's return in two weeks from a painful turf toe injury last season and refused to declare Gray out for a certain period of time, but he has a high sprain that typically takes up to a month to recover from.

Gray also hurt his knee on the running play against Western Michigan when his left leg was bent backward by a pile of tacklers, but Kill said there's no structural damage there.