Two key Badgers out indefinitely
The offensive injuries are sky high in Madison.
Paul Chryst announced on Monday that Wisconsin center Dan Voltz will be out the rest of the season. The second-team All-Big Ten selection left the third quarter of Saturday’s game against Illinois with a leg injury and didn’t return.
Redshirt freshman Michael Deiter will make his second career start at center on Saturday.
To make matters worse, the Badgers will also be without No. 2 receiver Robert Wheelwright for the rest of the regular season after he went down with a leg injury in the second half against Illinois. Chryst announced on Monday that Wheelwright would be out “a while.” The team’s second leading receiver is one of two Badger wideouts with a touchdown in 2015.
Wisconsin was already dealing with a bevy of injuries up front. Starting tackle Hayden Biegel is likely out for the season, as is rotation guy Ray Ball.
Tailbacks Corey Clement and Taiwan Deal didn’t even make the trip to Champaign because they were both still nursing injuries. Chryst did not indicate whether or not they would be back in action to take on Rutgers.
The Badger running game that set a school record with 320 yards per game has also been without Austin Traylor the last three weeks after he suffered an arm injury against Iowa. His timetable is still week-to-week.
But perhaps the biggest question mark on the Badger injury front was at quarterback. Joel Stave left the Illinois game in the first half with a head injury and didn’t return. In his place, Bart Houston stepped in and lifted the Badgers to a 24-13 victory to not lose any ground on Iowa in the B1G West.
Still, Chryst listed Stave as No. 1 on the depth chart on Monday. Monday depth charts are often the same as what was used on Saturday, so that’s really not a true indication that Stave will be healthy or starting on Saturday against Rutgers. Stave will go though concussion protocol during the week before he’s cleared to play.
Lucky for Wisconsin, Alex Erickson is still in one piece and so is the Badger defense.