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Wisconsin football: Paul Chryst confirms Austin Traylor's return to practice; more injury updates

A key component of Wisconsin's passing game returned to the field for light practice.

Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst spoke with the media on Wednesday afternoon, discussing the bye-week activities as the No. 22/No. 23/No.25 (Coaches/AP/College Football Playoff) Badgers (8-2, 5-1) rest up this weekend before closing out the season against Northwestern at home and Minnesota at TCF Stadium.

Among the topics discussed were the plans for Chryst and his coaching staff during the bye week, the schedule for the team before the weekend, along with most notably the return of redshirt senior tight end Austin Traylor to the practice field for the first time since sustaining an arm injury in Wisconsin's 10-6 home loss to Iowa in early October.

The video's embedded above, but here's the summary of Chryst's comments:

  • Over half of the coaches left Maryland to go on recruiting trips
  • Players lifted on Monday and Tuesday
  • Players will practice Wednesday and Thursday, then off for the weekend
  • Redshirt senior tight end Austin Traylor returned to practice on Wednesday
  • Traylor was able to go through practice (running routes) since there wasn't a lot of hitting, though his participation on Thursday may be limited due to more hitting drills
  • True freshman inside linebacker Chris Orr and junior running back Corey Clement did not practice on Wednesday, but tight end Eric Steffes did a little bit of work
  • Chryst noted how the Maryland game was a "unique" special-teams game with the extremes (alluding to the 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by sophomore cornerback Natrell Jamerson and 57-yard punt fake by senior outside linebacker Joe Schobert, but also the poor performance punting and kicking game)
  • When asked about criticism players receive now compared to in the past when he played in the late-1980s, Chryst responded, "Or that there's actually fans?" Chryst laughed. "You know what I'm talking about!"
  • Will Chryst be able to relax, sit on the couch and, as one reporter noted, "eat Cheetos?" "Sounds pretty good," Chryst quipped.
  • Chryst plans on addressing some recruiting on Friday and admitted it's easier to come in on these bye weekends to study film
  • Junior wide receiver Robert Wheelwright is out of his cast and is running in the pool
  • With a bye week this late in the season, Chryst said the Badgers took one extra day off