ILB Griffin Grady
Again, Griffin Grady is listed on the injury report and will not play against Michigan. He was listed as questionable early in the week, this is encouraging news but he will not suit up against Michigan.
The inside linebacker position has been given a boost with the return of Mike Maskalunas who did play against Nebraska. Despite Maskalunas returning to the lineup and contributing on special teams, I believe true freshman Jack Sanborn may continue to play. Sanborn did play some snaps at inside linebacker against Nebraska and seemed to hold his own.
It will be interesting to see if Sanborn continues to play with Grady out given that Sanborn could be held out in order to hold onto his redshirt.
More from Badger of Honor
- Wisconsin Football flips 3-star defensive tackle from Northwestern
- Former Wisconsin Football stars to be featured on the next Wheaties box
- Believe it or not, Wisconsin Football has never played these FBS teams
- Four-star running back Darrion Dupree commits to Wisconsin Football
- Wisconsin Football wide receiver enters the transfer portal
OLB Andrew Van Ginkel
Andrew Van Ginkel will again be a game-time decision. Again, Van Ginkel only played a limited number of snaps against Nebraska, mostly on third down. He did show flashes of the old Van Ginkel by making Adrian Martinez scramble and forcing Nebraska offensive linemen to hold. It is crucial that Van Ginkel plays against Michigan given their offensive line being susceptible to quality pass rushers.
The outside linebacker group clearly has some depth issues even with Van Ginkel healthy. There appeared to be a slight improvement in the pass rush against the Cornhuskers, but not to the level that I am sure Jim Leonhard wants it to be.
If Van Ginkel does not play a significant amount of snaps against Michigan, the Wisconsin defense will struggle against Shea Patterson. Hurrying and laying strong hits on Patterson could be the key to an upset in Saturday’s matchup. A consistent pass rush could force Patterson to make mistakes as well as help out a banged-up secondary that could use some assistance. It is up to Tyler Johnson, Christian Bell, Noah Burks, and Zack Baun to get the pass rush going if Van Ginkel is unable to play. This is a big ask given their inability to apply much pressure thus far.