Wisconsin Football: Injury Report vs. BYU

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 07: A cheerleader for the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates a score against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 07: A cheerleader for the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates a score against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

The injury report for Wisconsin Football looks quite similar to last week’s list against New Mexico.  The Badgers will need all hands on deck when they a welcome a tough, physical BYU team.

Last week’s injuries had little impact on the end result.  Wisconsin Football was the superior team from start to finish against an over-matched New Mexico squad.  As better teams are waiting for their shot against Wisconsin, it is paramount that the Badgers have as many guys ready to go as possible.  Injuries are part of this sport, as the season treks on this list will likely grow.

As the Big Ten schedule approaches it is paramount that Wisconsin gets their young players as many reps as possible.  It is difficult to expose freshmen to the grind of Big Ten play until they are actually playing in those games.  Big Ten matchups tend to be absolute slugfests where one or two plays could be the deciding factor.

However, you need to have guys healthy in order for them to make an impact.  Guys like Zander Neuville and Isaiahh Loudermilk who returned from injuries last week are key to Wisconsin’s success this year.  How their injuries hold up will be a lingering element to the Badger’s season.

Let’s take a look at who the Badgers will be missing when they take on BYU this Saturday at Camp Randall.

TE Luke Benzschawel

With the return of Neuville, the loss of Benzschawel for Saturday will not have much of an impact.  When the Badgers have all their tight ends available Benzschawel would probably be their fourth option.  With that being said, Benzschawel had a solid performance against Western Kentucky.  He cleared the path for many Taylor and Taiwan Deal runs before he was forced to leave the game with his leg injury.

Neuville is definitely an upgrade compared to Benzschawel but with Neuville’s health still an uncertainty, any setback could leave the Badgers with only two dependable tight ends.

DE Kraig Howe

The return of Loudermilk makes this injury less damaging to the depth of the defensive line.  Howe is not a projected starter this season, but his absence could still have an impact.  Leonhard has confidence in the guys at the position, but any additional injuries will have the coaches scrambling for solutions.

The pressure for Lyles, Henningsen, and Vopal to perform (and stay healthy) alongside Loudermilk has increased with Howe’s injury.  There appears to be no timetable for Howe’s return to the field.

ILB Mike Maskalunas

Maskalunas makes his first appearance on the injury report this season.  The inside linebacker group is loaded with quality players, but you hate to see a promising guy like Maskalunas suffer an injury.

Maskalunas is in the battle for one of the backup inside linebacker slots alongside Chris Orr.  The versatility that Maskalunas possesses also make him a valuable asset on Wisconsin’s various special teams units.

True freshman Jack Sanborn will have to step up as the fourth inside linebacker and handle important roles on special teams.  I have confidence that Wisconsin’s linebackers will not miss a beat.

Five players to watch for Wisconsin Football vs. BYU. light. Also

S Reggie Pearson

This injury is even more significant due to the departure of Patrick Johnson.  Pearson is a promising freshman safety who is expected to contribute this year.  He has garnered praise from defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard as a player who pays a lot of attention to the details.

Pearson’s injury leaves Wisconsin with only three players who have played meaningful snaps at the position.  D’Cota Dixon and Scott Nelson will continue to be the starting safeties barring injury, but it leaves Eric Burrell as the only guy who has received significant playing time.

The impact of the injury may not be seen on Saturday, but if the injuries pile up it could be a cause for concern.  Hopefully, Pearson’s injury is just a short-term issue and he can find his way back on to the field soon.

RB Bradrick Shaw

Shaw’s return will have to wait another week.  I think that it is smart that the coaching staff take their time with putting Shaw back into the lineup.  Taiwan Deal is looking like a great compliment to Taylor, and Garrett Groshek and Chris James are quality options on third down and in the passing game.

Shaw has the ability and physical tools to be an excellent running back at Wisconsin.  However, with the options currently in place and the limitations caused by his injury, Shaw should be given time to rehab and rest up.  The early Big Ten games seem like a realistic projection for Shaw’s return given the circumstances.

ILB Griffin Grady

Griffin Grady is the newest member of the injury report and will not play this Saturday.  The inside linebacker position is starting to lose depth given the injury to Mike Maskalunas as well.  The two players who split time as the fourth inside linebacker will be out against BYU.  That means that true freshman Jack Sanborn will take over those duties on Saturday.  Sanborn was one of Wisconsin’s highest-rated recruits in the 2018 class and is expected to be an absolute stud down the road.  It looks like his development will ratchet up this week as he is expected to be on the field for both defensive and special teams’ snaps.  This will be Sanborn’s first game action as a Badger.

OLB Tyler Johnson

Johnson is listed as questionable for Saturday’s contest.  He has been Wisconsin’s No. 3 outside linebacker this year and has gotten a good amount of reps on defense.  There have not been any updates to the severity of his injury, but if he misses some time it could be a significant blow.  Johnson is a scrappy player who has shown the ability to make plays.  If Johnson misses the BYU game, Christian Bell and Noah Burks would be the most likely candidates to fill his spot.

Next. 10 best Wisconsin Football games since 2010. dark

K P.J. Rosowski

Rosowski continues to live on the injury report as questionable.  He has been designated as questionable for all three games this year.  With Zach Hintze crushing the ball on kickoffs this year, the special teams coaches will take their time with Rosowski’s recovery.