MADISON — The Wisconsin Badgers announced on Monday that junior cornerback Natrell Jamerson will miss significant time with a left leg injury.
Jamerson was injured with about six-and-a-half minutes left in the fourth quarter of Wisconsin’s 54-10 win over Akron on Saturday. On Monday, head coach Paul Chryst said he didn’t know for sure how long the Badgers' third cornerback will be out, but mentioned four-to-six weeks as a potential timetable.
"My first thought is I feel bad for Natrell," Chryst said. "He’s a neat kid, fun to be around. Yesterday, in talking with him, he’s got the right approach."
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jeff Potrykus noted in his article on Sunday that television cameras caught a UW official mouthing what appeared to be "left fibula" during the game.
The loss of the 6’0, 188-pound cornerback is substantial on several fronts. Jamerson is Wisconsin’s third cornerback and used extensively in the defense’s nickel subpackage with three defensive backs in at once.
Jamerson is also a special teams standout as Wisconsin’s No. 1 kickoff returner (three returns, 20 yards per). Chryst did say senior running back Corey Clement, now listed as the primary returner on the depth chart, is a viable option to replace the Ocala, Fla., native in that area. True freshman wide receiver A.J. Taylor is now listed at No. 2 behind Clement.
"It’s interesting when a guy like Natrell goes down," Chryst said. "He’s a four-phase special teamer, so you have four different guys that will probably get an opportunity. Nickel package, we’ll see how this week goes a little bit."
In his absence on defense, cornerbacks Titus Booker, Lubern Figaro and true freshman Caesar Williams may be called upon to pick up the slack.
"There’s a lot of different guys that can step up for us," senior safety Leo Musso said. "It’s really up to the coaches who they want to put in and who they’re going to want working at the nickel or maybe the cornerback spot, shifting guys around.
"I’m not too sure of who they have planned up, but I know whoever they do is going to do a great job for us."
Figaro is now listed on the depth chart behind senior Sojourn Shelton. The junior has played both safety and cornerback in his time at UW, starting seven games during the 2014 season as a true freshman.
Williams is again listed as the No. 2 cornerback behind junior Derrick Tindal, but has not played in the first two games of the season. He flashed during training camp as a true freshman and was consistent enough to make the two-deep.
Booker is a speedy cornerback who redshirted last season after converting from a high-school running back.
Add in sophomore safety Arrington Farrar, and there are definitely options for the secondary in subpackages.
"They’ve done a great job, just making the most of each opportunity that they get on the field," Musso said when asked about Figaro and Booker’s progression. "I know they’re two eager guys to kind of prove what they got, and they’re doing a great job."