Gary Andersen, as scheduled, appeared on the Big Ten coaches teleconference Tuesday morning. The situation with Joel Stave was his central focus, and he also talked a bit about this weekend's mini-controversy with Melvin Gordon. You can read that full update here.
ESPN also has a report citing a source that says Stave could be out for the year. That same report also says there's no internal strife stemming from the Gordon situation. What do we make of all of this?
Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave will miss time due to lingering shoulder issues, the Badgers announced Tuesday.
"Joel has been dealing with some issues with his throwing shoulder for the last couple of weeks and we have come to a decision, after talking with Joel, that the best thing for him right now is to shut it down and give him some rest," head coach Gary Andersen said in a statement. "It was a tough decision because Joel is a great competitor and has a tremendous desire to help this team. We will continue to monitor his progress but we're not putting a timetable on his return at this time."
The decision might lend some clarity to UW's quarterback situation on Saturday night, when Tanner McEvoy played the duration of the 28-24 loss to LSU despite his struggles. McEvoy finished 8-of-24 for 50 yards and two interceptions in a game where Wisconsin squandered a 24-7 lead.
Monday, Andersen held his weekly press conference and insisted that McEvoy was not solely to blame for the passing game's struggles, and that both he and Stave would see playing time in the coming weeks.
"You can look at the numbers; if you want to break down just the numbers of the football game, whatever you want to say about the quarterback play, you can say whatever you want to say about the receiver play, the protection," Andersen said. "It was the whole offense with the passing game. Tanner did some things, he made some plays, just like a quarterback has to, that we asked him to make with his feet at times.
"I'm not saying it's an open competition, but both quarterbacks have an opportunity. And we'll need them both to be able to play. This team can handle that and both those kids can handle that without any problem."
As for Watt, Andersen said the freshman tight end has been dealing with a right knee injury since fall camp.
"T.J. suffered a right knee injury during camp which required surgery," Andersen said. "He will miss an extended amount of time but we hope to have him back on the practice field at some point during the conference season.
We'll have more on the situation shortly.