It’s been a tough past three weeks for the Badgers, who have lost three in a row after beginning 5-2, leaving the program with frustrated players and a lack of identity this late in the season.
A part of the issues have been due to injury, as quarterback Tanner Mordecai broke his hand against the Iowa Hawkeyes, forcing him to miss three weeks, while Braelon Allen suffered a high-ankle sprain against Ohio State, causing him to miss the Indiana game and be severely limited against Northwestern.
Allen’s health is a vital piece for the Badgers this weekend, as Nebraska allows just 79.6 rushing yards per game, which ranks fourth in the country.
What’s the latest on his status?
Speaking to reporters on Monday ahead of this weekend’s game against the Cornhuskers, head coach Luke Fickell wasn’t too optimistic on his running back’s prognosis, dubbing him a likely gametime decision, just as he was last weekend.
I don’t know. We’ll have to see,” Fickell said about Allen’s status. “Last week, he didn’t do a bunch and it was going to be a game time decision and we’ll have to see this week and I couldn’t answer that. Obviously moved around a little bit last night, but we did not do a ton. So it wasn’t like we could evaluate a lot of guys on anything that we did last night.”
“Normally, we do maybe a little bit more, but in the last two, three weeks of the season, sometimes Sundays become lighter and lighter and a little bit more mental work. So we hope, but we’ll have to see.”
The Badgers’ running game has been significantly impacted without Allen, as the Badgers have rushed for 3.8, 3.6, and, 3.6 yards per carry over their three losses, forcing the offense to be one-sided and easier to defend.
Going up against a top run defense in the country, the Badgers will need to find ways to move the ball, and Allen’s presence would significantly help achieve that cause.
The issue is that Allen is recovering from a high-ankle sprain, and is currently in his third week of recovery, with the usual timetable for these injuries stemming between four-to-six weeks.
Can Allen make it back in time for Saturday’s game?