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Wisconsin football: Paul Chryst hopeful of players' return; Tanner McEvoy injured?

Head coach Paul Chryst spoke with the media after practice Thursday about the possibility of players returning for Alabama and whether a key offensive target will be at full strength.

The Wisconsin Badgers returned to practice Thursday after a day off on Wednesday. The days draw nearer for their Sept. 5 season opener against Alabama, but will a key piece to the Wisconsin's offense be hampered by an injury?

Tanner McEvoy injured?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus and the Wisconsin State Journal's Jason Galloway reported senior wide receiver/safety Tanner McEvoy "tweaked" his left leg, per a UW official. Chryst told Wisconsin boosters after Thursday's practice, which was closed to the media, that the redshirt senior "tweaked something."

McEvoy's been a pivotal target for redshirt senior quarterback Joel Stave in the first-team offense alongside fellow receiver Alex Erickson. Per Galloway's article:

"We've got a couple days here," Chryst said. "He really means a lot to our team. At the receiver spot he can give us a lot."

A UW official said the injury is to McEvoy's left leg. He stopped participating when the injury occurred but did not leave the practice field entirely.

Galloway also reported Chryst mentioned to the boosters that Bart Houston is the No. 2 quarterback.

Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst addressed the media after practice. Among the highlights:

  • During the next three practices (Thursday, Friday and Saturday), the Badgers will simulate a regular practice week
  • Chryst said he wanted the players to get used to the standard work week and finishing up details of their specific spots -- assignments, techniques -- as well begin prep for Alabama
  • In terms of injuries, Chryst said he could get some injured players back, depending upon the amount of work they can do. That includes redshirt sophomores Hayden Biegel (head) and Alec James (ankle) who could be ready for the Tide. Later in the talk with reporters, Chryst believed offensive linemen Ray Ball (arm) and Walker Williams (head) could also be ready for the season opener.
  • Regarding Biegel and how comfortable it would be to put him in a game situation, Chryst says the right tackle's done enough that wouldn't prevent him from being ready. As ESPN Wisconsin's Zach Heilprin noted, Biegel was in full pads Thursday with a no-contact jersey on.
  • Chryst mentioned true freshman linebacker Chris Orr surprised him during fall camp. He also noted that in terms of surprises for the camp, he's still working to get to know the players being a first-year head coach.
  • Chryst believes when healthy, the running back crew could have good depth, and believes the wide receivers are willing to block for them
  • Regarding the two new scholarship players, redshirt freshmen Zander Neuville and Ryan Connelly, Chryst said it was exciting when they announced the news, and there was great energy in the room.