As tweeted out by a couple of reporters, Wisconsin released its updated injury report just two days before its night time match-up against Nebraska.
UW will lose a key piece of its offense, as it announced redshirt senior tight end Zander Neuville will be out the rest of the season with a left leg injury.
It is highly unfortunate for Neuville, a former walk-on who converted to tight end from the defensive line and became a starter on Wisconsin. Last season, he tore his ACL in the regular season finale at Minnesota and worked his way back to playing condition heading into fall camp. However, he also fought through injuries during fall camp and the early part of this season. He caught only one pass for three yards in three games played so far.
Though he caught only 10 receptions for 84 yards and two touchdowns in his career with the Badgers, he was a key component of their rushing attack.
“Again, as a team, you got to be able to overcome that, but you feel terrible for ‘Z’ and him having to go through that,” head coach Paul Chryst said on Thursday.
Chryst also said Neuville had been “feeling great” and the “best he'd felt.”
Behind him, tight end Luke Benzschawel (right leg) is listed as questionable on today’s injury report, with Chryst noting to reporters on Thursday that he is back this week. Benzschawel received many reps during fall camp with Neuville out.
Wisconsin has also utilized redshirt freshman offensive lineman Logan Bruss as a pseudo tight end already this season. Against Iowa, the Badgers deployed a “Jumbo” package with seven offensive lineman with both Bruss and redshirt junior Jason Erdmann on the field.
Of course, there is also redshirt junior Kyle Penniston and redshirt freshman Jake Ferguson. Ferguson is second on the team in receptions (12) and has emerged as a consistent target in the passing game.
Six Badgers questionable for Saturday
Also noted in the reported injury reports are two new additions—cornerbacks Travian Blaylock (right leg) and Caesar Williams (left leg)—who are designated as questionable.
Williams has played in all four games—starting three— with nine tackles and two pass break-ups. He is joined by the redshirt freshman Faion Hicks (right arm) with being listed as questionable, though as the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Galloway reported on Wednesday, defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard believes Hicks will play through a thumb injury.
Blaylock has played in all four games this season on special teams and recovered a fumble during Wisconsin’s 28-17 win at Iowa two weekends ago.
Along with the aforementioned younger Benzschawel brother, starting outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (right leg) is still questionable, as is running back Bradrick Shaw.
In brighter news, reserve inside linebacker Mike Maskalunas was taken off the injury report.
Here is the full updated injury report:
- TE Luke Benzschawel (right leg)
- CB Travian Blaylock (right leg)
- CB Faion Hicks (right arm)
- RB Bradrick Shaw (left leg)
- OLB Andrew Van Ginkel (right leg)
- CB Caesar Williams (left leg)
Out for Saturday
- ILB Griffin Grady (right leg)
Out for Season
- TE Zander Neuville (left leg)
- OLB Mason Platter (right leg)
- DE Garrett Rand (right leg)
- DE Blake Smithback (right leg)