MADISON—Jack Cichy’s season-ending injury was the major headline on Thursday morning, a surprise considering he appeared fine after a scare earlier this week.
Cichy injured his knee during Tuesday night’s practice, though he returned to reps that evening and even participated in Wednesday’s session. Head coach Paul Chryst explained that the doctors went through all of the protocols and couldn’t find anything, with Cichy himself saying that it “felt good.” It wasn’t until they received the MRI results that an ACL tear entered the picture.
“‘Cich’ is obviously disappointed, but there’s a lot to him,” Chryst told reporters after Wisconsin’s 12th fall camp practice on Thursday afternoon. “I think he’s probably at that point... I mean, he just found out. I mean, he had two practices, so I think it was surprising to him, but talking with him this morning, it’s what you want. He’s about, ‘What do I have to do to move forward?’”
Chryst said he had a chance to visit Cichy last night, and though he was disappointed, Chryst mentioned “there’s a lot to that guy” and his linebacker will “just tackle the next phase, the next chapter for him and you appreciate that out of him.”
When asked about potential timelines of Cichy’s future eligibility—presumably requesting a sixth-year at UW, and recovery, Chryst mentioned there hasn’t been much thought put into that yet, though in a follow-up mentioned that he has gone through the process before with other players and doesn’t take too long.
“Obviously those are questions the brain hasn’t even gone there,” Chryst said. “You’re talking with a young man last night, ‘How are you doing?’ That’s all you really care about. Then this morning was about when can we get surgery scheduled. So I think it’s way too early for anything like that, other than the doc is on when it’s time to go.”
With Cichy now out for the season and redshirt junior Ryan Connelly out of practice for the time being with a left leg injury, redshirt sophomore Chris Orr worked with the first-team defense during Thursday’s practice. Connelly presumably would fill in whenever he returns, but there will be chances for younger players to gain experience like they did in the spring.
“I think those are those windows of opportunity for those guys,” Chryst said on Thursday when asked about players that may be asked to do more. “Arrington Farrar, who kind of made the switch halfway through the spring, maybe a little bit past halfway, so he has a chance to get reps. We’ve liked the way Mikey Maskalunas has come in and worked, so there’s more work for him. It’d be good to get Griffin [Grady] back. He’s kind of missing that, so those are three guys that kind of come off the top of your head that that’s good work for them, so they got to take advantage of that.”
“Ryan, we don’t know when Ryan’ll be back. It’s certainly not a season type of an injury, but as far as camp, those will be great opportunities for that group that were mentioned.”
More from Chryst
Was the team somber today? “You can’t separate it. I didn’t think we had great energy the last two. I think there were some workman-like things going on, but it certainly is one of your captains and guys respect and those of you who have been at practice, he does liven practice up, so he’ll be back doing that. I think there are a number of things, I think that’s where we got to—I don’t care whether it’s that nice camp schedule or old camp schedule, there’s that point in camp where you’ve got to fight through it. Take advantage of the off day tomorrow, and come back, and we got four days and then we’ll have the next off day, so we got to come back and have a good four days.”
Do injuries force you to change up your practice schedule? “I think you always have to be aware of where your team’s at and what you’re doing, so I think that part it does. We haven’t had to deviate yet from it, and we’ll see. I don’t think we’ll have to in a major way, but it’s good work for everyone and it’s our job to help them maximize the opportunities we get to work.”
On WRs and TEs given opportunities due to injuries: “I think it comes up every position in camp, and it’s good. I think it’s been good for Danny Davis. Today, we’re doing some twos and threes, and it was good for Jack Dunn, a guy who’s kind of worked and done different things. The biggest thing for the young guys is know what they’re doing so when those opportunities do come, they give themselves a chance. Other guys, you got to get them back, so we can kind of get and develop that timing to be right for the season.”
On redshirt sophomore guard Jason Erdmann’s play before Thursday’s injury: “I thought Erds was having a good camp, and I think that he was sure of what he was doing. That sounds pretty simple, right, but there’s a lot to that. I think when he was able to do that, one of his strengths, I think, is his physical strength, so I think that showed up. I think there’s that comfort of knowing what to do, how to do it, and then having done it and experience some success with it. Not all of them have been, but when you have success, it kind of fuels it, and so I’ve liked it and hopefully get him back because I thought he was having a good camp.”
Do you like the way redshirt freshman Tyler Biadasz has handled himself in taking over center from Michael Deiter? “Yes. I’ve loved the way Tyler Biadasz has handled himself from the day he got here, and I think it’s not too big for right now, which is important. The way he goes about his business and practices and does that, I think there’s other people that are noticing it—teammates—and there’s a respect for it, and yet he’s still young. And that’s where there’s areas and things that he can do to improve, and he sees that and knows it, so I love the way that he goes about it. He’s pretty fun to be around.”