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[Updated] Reports: QB Alex Hornibrook suffered concussion, status unclear for Northwestern

Something to watch heading into this weekend.

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NCAA Football: Illinois at Wisconsin USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Update, Oct. 26: During the Paul Chryst Show on Thursday night, Wisconsin play-by-play extraordinaire Matt Lepay referred to Hornibrook as “questionable” for Saturday’s contest. Quotes from Paul Chryst are also now seen below about Coan and Vanden Boom.

Two reports on Thursday now seem to put redshirt junior Alex Hornibrook’s status in the air for this weekend due to injury.

The Wisconsin Radio Network’s Bill Scott first reported that redshirt junior Alex Hornibrook “suffered a concussion and may not be able to play on Saturday” against Northwestern.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jeff Potrykus reported and confirmed later Thursday afternoon that the quarterback is currently in concussion protocol with his game time status “uncertain” for the Big Ten West clash against the Wildcats (11 a.m. CT, FOX).

Scott’s report also noted that according to a source, Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) has had true sophomore quarterback Jack Coan preparing for “the bulk of the week” in the instance Hornibrook cannot play against Northwestern (4-3, 4-1).

Potrykus noted that the quarterback “was seen doing conditioning work after the team’s light workout,” though the veteran reporter qualified that observation by stating that is part of the protocol.

As seen in both preliminary and updated injury reports released by Wisconsin this week, Hornibrook was not listed.

If Hornibrook is unable to play, it could mark the first game action for Coan this season. The Sayville, N.Y., native played in six games in 2017, completing all five of his passing attempts as a true freshman after surpassing Karé Lyles on the depth chart as the No. 2 quarterback.

Though it was limited duty later in games, four of Coan’s six games played were during road contests (BYU, Nebraska, Indiana and Minnesota).

On head coach Paul Chryst’s weekly radio show on Thursday night, Wisconsin play-by-play broadcaster Matt Lepay noted that Hornibrook is “considered questionable.” Chryst addressed Coan’s development and progression from last year to this year, along with commending redshirt freshman Danny Vanden Boom as well:

“It’s been significant, and as it should be. You’re talking about a guy [Coan] that’s in his first year of college football, and then now second lap around the track. I think it’s interesting as you go through it. Here, he’s played in games and now Danny has played in games. I always thought for a player, when you get through those firsts, whatever that first is—first action, then a first tackle or first catch or first throw, right—and I think too that Jack and Danny really, they’ve got great purpose and they both have a vision of what they want to be, and so they are really sponges in the classroom. I think, not that they’re ultra serious and not that, but everything they’re trying to take in and get.

“I think Jack has done a great job in the spring and summer and I thought fall camp. Really what’s helped, too, is with them, we went in all along and said if the new rule has helped Jack, that should you be able to redshirt, we want to consider that. So we’re not going to play you maybe at the end [of games] kind of like what he played last year, and that’s where Danny’s gotten those [reps]. And yet, Jack has taken a ton of reps with our ones and our twos because we always knew that if something were to happen, he would be the next one to go in. He’d be the one to kind of start or to finish out the game if it’s in the balance. So both of them have embraced that role and done a good job, and should we need them, I feel confident with both.”