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Joel Stave Ahead of Schedule, In Line for Rose Bowl Playing Time?

You don't say...


When I say, "quarterback controversy," you say, "again?!!?!"

At least, that's how I imagine it would go.

Perhaps we should quell any outrage seeing as the Rose Bowl is still, you know, a few weeks away. But as Louis points out in this morning's Badger Bits, Joel Stave is ahead of schedule in his recovery from the broken collarbone he suffered vs. Michigan State. That's great news, and Bret Bielema even told us as much before he jumped ship.

But Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal is reporting even more now, saying Stave has returned to practice on a limited basis.

Stave participated in individual drills and 7-on-7 passing drills, where there was no pass rush. Coaches and players were not available for interviews afterward, but Stave appeared to throw with no discomfort.

During the first Rose Bowl practice on Saturday, Stave threw on the sidelines with trainers. That apparently went well enough that he was cleared to start throwing in practice.

Back when Stave's injury was confirmed, the consensus on his status seemed to be "out for the season, with a puncher's chance at returning for the bowl game." But now that bowl game is The Rose Bowl, and the Badgers are currently riding a wave of unprecedented balls-to-the-walls momentum with Bielema Pig-Soo-Whatevering in Arkansas and Barry Alvarez preparing to ride off into the coaching sunset for good with a valiant performance in the Rose Bowl, could Stave make a legitimate and worthwhile comeback?

Personally, I can't envision any scenario where Stave would start. Curt Phillips, while his numbers haven't been mind-boggling, has been mostly productive and mistake-free. For the sake of continuity -- and my god, how little has this team had this year -- I believe Phillips gets the start, but it's all hands on deck with him, Stave and Danny O'Brien.