Fresh off a comeback 15-14 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Wisconsin Badgers will end the regular season against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday.
Interim head coach Jim Leonhard has done well during his short tenure as the leader for the Badgers, sitting at 4-2, and will get the opportunity to add to his resume.
Now, it appears he will have a good chance to do so, as the Badgers are getting healthier down the stretch.
Here is the depth chart and injury report against Minnesota.
#Badgers preliminary injury report vs the Minnesota Golden Gophers:— Rohan Chakravarthi (@RohanChakrav) November 21, 2022
They're the healthiest they've been all year. pic.twitter.com/thaMVOc8bi
On the injury report, defensive end Isaiah Mullens is no longer listed, meaning that the Badgers may see the entirety of their defensive line available, which may be important as star edge rusher Nick Herbig’s status is currently unclear after he was ejected for targeting last weekend.
Since Herbig was called for targeting in the second half, he is expected to miss the first half of Saturday’s game, although Leonhard said to reporters Monday that they expect to make an appeal.
Offensive lineman Trey Wedig missed last weekend’s matchup with a left arm injury, but is not on the injury report, meaning he could potentially return to the starting lineup this week after the one-week absence.
With Mullens back in the fold, Jim Leonhard will have to balance the minutes for his players, especially since James Thompson Jr. has filled in well in the redshirt senior’s absence.
Offensively, Chez Mellusi returned to the fold last weekend, which was important given the shaky health of Braelon Allen, which required the former to take on a majority of the snaps at running back.
However, Mellusi’s return did limit the reps for Isaac Guerendo, who had flourished as the backup tailback behind Allen.
With all three expected to play Saturday, Wisconsin should be able to establish a sound running game, especially if Guerendo is utilized more.
Along the offensive line, Michael Furtney earned the start at right guard due to Wedig’s absence last weekend.
Offensive coordinator Bobby Engram has preached the importance of cohesion along the front five, however; Wisconsin has trotted out several different formations due to inconsistency and injury.
Wedig should return to the starting lineup, given the success and potential Wisconsin showed with him alongside Riley Mahlman, but the redshirt sophomore did struggle against Iowa.
The starter alongside Mahlman at right guard will be something to monitor as the week progresses.