Wisconsin Football: Dan Voltz Out For Season, Robert Wheelwright Injured, Too


Dan Voltz and Robert Wheelwright headline a list Wisconsin Badgers fans don’t want to see: the growing injury report. Voltz will miss the remainder of the season while Wheelwright is likely out until bowl season.

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Voltz, one of two returning starters to the Wisconsin offensive line this year along with left tackle Tyler Marz, was sidelined earlier this year with an elbow injury, but returned to action. A knee injury against Illinois has ended the center’s season, as reported by UWBadgers.com Insider Andy Baggot.

It’s a big blow to an offensive line that is suddenly extremely thin, as Baggot noted that backups Ray Ball and Hayden Biegel are also injured and won’t be available this weekend.

That leaves the senior left tackle Marz starting with redshirt freshman Micah Kapoi starting at left guard, redshirt freshman Michael Deiter at center, redshirt junior Walker Williams at right guard, and redshirt freshman Beau Benzschawel starting at right tackle.

Most of those players have seen significant time this season, but behind them, the Badgers will be looking at three main backups who have just one collegiate start combined — redshirt freshmen Jacob Maxwell and Brett Connors, and junior Logan Schmidt.

Voltz’s injury is also significant because he’s flat-out good. Voltz is one of the better centers in the country, and his presence will be missed the rest of the season.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

Wheelwright’s injury also represents a significant loss for the Badgers, as he was becoming an important member of the passing game. Wheelwright is currently second on the team with 28 receptions and 392 receiving yards, and leads the team with four touchdown grabs. The Badgers are already dealing with the loss of tight end Austin Traylor who was off to a hot start.

We can probably expect to see more of tight end Troy Fumagalli, who has played well the last few weeks, and Jazz Peavy, who has also seen an expanded role. Senior wide receiver/safety Tanner McEvoy hasn’t been used extensively on offense, and might see more play calls with his name on them. Senior receiver Jordan Frederick has been used more as a blocking receiver while at UW, but he might also be asked to play a larger role in the receiving game, as well.

While Voltz and Wheelwright have been confirmed to have long-term injuries, the Badgers are still looking for some shorter-term injuries to clear up. Corey Clement still hasn’t returned to action, and Taiwan Deal remains injured as well. With the duo probably out Saturday, Dare Ogunbowale and Alec Ingold will likely continue to see the majority of the touches.

The Badgers have also not said whether Joel Stave will be back for Saturday’s game yet, either. Stave was injured against Illinois, and Bart Houston took over and helped lead the Badgers to a victory.

It looks like it’s a good week to face a Rutgers team that is giving up 32.0 points per game this year, and is in the bottom 20 of all college football teams giving up over 450 yards per game.

Next: Big Ten Standings After Week 9

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