MADISON—Oh yeah, there was practice on Thursday.
After the announcement of Jack Cichy’s season ending prematurely due to an ACL injury, the Wisconsin Badgers pushed through their 12th practice of fall camp.
Replacing Cichy alongside T.J. Edwards at inside linebacker was redshirt sophomore Chris Orr. Orr has enjoyed a solid camp through nearly two weeks of practices and brings an energy to the field with every snap.
With Ryan Connelly still out for an unknown amount of time with a left leg injury, it appears the likes of redshirt freshman Mike Maskalunas, junior Arrington Farrar, and sophomore Griffin Grady could receive snaps with the second team.
A walk-on, Maskalunas gained experience with Grady this spring working with the first-team defense while Cichy, Edwards, Orr, and Connelly were all either limited or out in March and April.
“I think those are those windows of opportunity for those guys,” head coach Paul 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.”
Injuries piling up with off day coming
Normally, the injury list is kept for the bottom of the pratice report, but Thursday’s edition was the lengthiest Wisconsin has seen yet. Added to the list were senior wide receiver George Rushing, who was on crutches and sporting a boot due to a leg injury, and wide receiver Kendric Pryor (unspecified) and cornerback Caesar Williams (head).
The following players also missed practice:
- Outside linebacker Christian Bell (left leg)
- Inside linebacker Ryan Connelly (left leg)
- Running back Taiwan Deal (right leg—like Rushing, in a boot)
- Fullback Aaron Maternowski (head)
- Safety Scott Nelson (left leg)
- Tight end Zander Neuville (right leg)
- Wide receivers Jazz Peavy and Emmet Perry (both specified as left leg)
Cornerback Dontye Carriere-Williams (back) and wide receiver Cade Green (left leg) were upgraded to “limited” alongside Grady (illness).
The injuries at key positions like wide receiver have allowed some younger players to step into more significant reps. After practice, Chryst called out the likes of Danny Davis and Jack Dunn.
“The biggest thing for the young guys is know what they’re doing so when those opportunities do come, they give themselves a chance,” Chryst said. “Other guys, you got to get them back, so we can kind of get and develop that timing to be right for the season.”
Redshirt sophomore Jason Erdmann, who has received some reps at first-team left guard this week and has been seen on the second-team line this camp, injured his shoulder during Thursday’s practice. It does not appear to be serious.
“I thought ‘Erds’ was having a good camp, and I think that he was sure of what he was doing,” Chryst said. “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.”
- News of Cichy’s injury was the main focus on Thursday, but it looked like the reserves took in much of the action on the field towards the latter half of the practice.
- Before that, the first-team offense and defense appeared to receive some early, intermittent work in team and skeleton drills. One nice play from quarterback Alex Hornibrook included a deep pass to sophomore wide receiver Quintez Cephus. It looked like the southpaw also connected with the rising receiver a couple of times during red-zone skeleton drills.
- With the running back stable deep with talent, I have not had a chance to really see true freshman tailback Jonathan Taylor, but he carried the ball well on Thursday morning. As a true freshman, he appears to have a college-ready physique, and he popped through holes nicely.
The Badgers are off on Friday and will practice on Saturday. B5Q will be there.