Wisconsin HC Luke Fickell reveals injuries to pair of offensive starters
Wisconsin head coach Luke Fickell revealed Saturday that his team may be without a pair of key starters for the season opener.
Center Jake Renfro and tight end Riley Nowakowski are both dealing with foot injuries, per Fickell.
“We’ll definitely have them back,” Fickell said. “It’s just (a matter of) how soon.”
Renfro was a first-team all-conference selection with Cincinnati in 2021. He missed the entire 2022 season with a knee injury before deciding to follow Fickell to Wisconsin.
“We’re hoping it’s three, four weeks,” Fickell said. “We don’t know exactly. We’ll get him back. It’s just how quickly will we get him. I don’t know that we can get him back for Game 1. Will we get him back Game 2 or 3? I hope. We’ll kind of see. It’s just a foot sprain.”
Wisconsin travels to Washington State for its Week 2 game. The Badgers play Georgia Southern at home on Sept. 16 before the Big Ten opener at Purdue on Sept. 22.
Nowakowski is a former walk-on who was observed taking first-team reps during the spring.
“We’re hoping maybe four weeks, five weeks, six,” Fickell said of Nowakowski’s injury. “We don’t know.”
Joe Huber and Dylan Barrett will likely get the reps at center in Renfro’s absence. At tight end, the team will likely turn to Jack Pugh and Hayden Rucci.
The Badgers will open the 2023 season on Sept. 2 against Buffalo.