OLB Andrew Van Ginkel
Andrew Van Ginkel will again be a game-time decision. Van Ginkel was hurt early on during the BYU game when he tried to make a tackle on the perimeter. The Wisconsin defense severely missed Van Ginkel’s playmaking ability as well as how much energy he provides. Van Ginkel only played a limited number of snaps against Iowa, only being featured as a pass rusher on obvious passing downs. He applied a decent amount of pressure when he was in the game, but was less explosive than what we are used to seeing. Van Ginkel just brings an extra dynamic that no one on the team possesses. It is crucial that Van Ginkel returns to the lineup as soon as possible.
The outside linebacker group already had some depth issues even with Van Ginkel healthy. Given the lack of depth, the outside linebacker play Badger fans are accustomed to was not present against the Hawkeyes.
If Van Ginkel does not play against Nebraska, the Wisconsin defense could have a difficult time applying pressure on Adrian Martinez. Getting to Martinez could be the key to a decisive win in Saturday’s matchup. Tyler Johnson, Christian Bell, and Noah Burks will look to fill the void if Van Ginkel cannot play with Zack Baun entrenched as the starter on the opposite side.
ILB Griffin Grady
Griffin Grady makes another appearance on the injury report and will not play this Saturday. The inside linebacker position has great depth and will be given a boost as Mike Maskalunas returns to the field this weekend. Maskalunas had missed the last couple of games with a leg injury.
Grady’s absence on special teams could have an impact, but I have confidence in players like Maskalunas and Chris Orr to handle those duties. Hopefully, Grady can find his way back onto the field soon. Even with the return of Maskalunas, it will be interesting to see if true freshman Jack Sanborn will receive playing time once again.