Once again, Wisconsin Football fans may not see Alex Hornibrook suit up this weekend.
Wisconsin’s injury report for this weekend’s matchup with the Minnesota is certainly small compared to those from past weeks this season. With a handful of exceptions, the Badgers will have most of their key contributors ready to go as they look to take down the Golden Gophers for the 14th straight year.
With that being said, lets take a look at this week’s injury report for Wisconsin’s showdown with Minnesota on Saturday for the rights to Paul Bunyan’s Axe.
As a reminder, the following five players will be sidelined for the remainder of the season:
- Tight end Zander Neuville
- Outside linebacker Mason Platter
- Defensive end Garrett Rand
- Nose tackle Olive Sagapolu
- Offensive lineman Blake Smithback
Out: Offensive tackle David Edwards
David Edwards will be sitting out for the second straight week.
The All-American has been dealing with a nagging left arm injury since fall camp, and the ailment finally proved too much of a hindrance to effectively compete in the trenches last weekend. Edwards was replaced by redshirt freshman Logan Bruss at right tackle against Purdue, who played well in the eyes of Paul Chryst. The head coach had this to say about Bruss’ strong performance:
"I thought Logan did a lot of really good things. It was important for us…It was fun seeing him and talking with him after the game. To be able to do it and play well in it and contribute to a victory, I feel there’s a lot of things he can feel good about as a starting point."
Indeed, the loss of Edwards did not prove to be detrimental to the Badgers’ success against the Boilermakers, as Jonathan Taylor was unstoppable behind a strong effort from Bruss and the rest of the offensive line, which gave up just one sack. While it is obviously not ideal, I would not expect his absence this weekend to significantly hamper Wisconsin’s chances at victory against the Gophers.
Bruss is certainly not yet the type of dominant a player as Edwards has been over the last couple of seasons, but he is one of the most promising young linemen on the roster and Wisconsin fans should feel confident in his ability to get the job done against a lackluster squad such as Minnesota.
Questionable: Quarterback Alex Hornibrook
It looks like it will be another game-time decision as to whether Alex Hornibrook will be under center against the Gophers.
Plagued by a couple of concussions, the junior signal caller has not played since the first half of Wisconsin’s win over Rutgers on November 3, and the last time he made it through an entire game was against Illinois on October 20. Hornibrook did not even make the trip to West Lafayette last weekend.
He does seem to be making a bit of progress in returning to the field, as he practiced on Tuesday and was throwing to Danny Davis in pads after Wednesday’s session. That being said, I think it is highly likely that we will be seeing Jack Coan get his fourth starting nod of the season on Saturday. Indeed, I would not be surprised if we have seen the last of Hornibrook this year.
While it is unfortunate that the Badgers will likely not be able to redshirt the sophomore from Long Island as originally planned this season, the good news is that he has clearly shown improvement over the last few weeks. Coan’s solid performance against Purdue was especially encouraging: he went 16-24 for 206 yards and two scores and, perhaps most importantly, no turnovers as he helped lead Wisconsin to a huge overtime win.
While it would be great to see Hornibrook back healthy, with the promise Coan has shown and the especially serious nature of head injuries, I see no reason for the staff to throw him back out there against 5-6 Minnesota at this point and risk another. At this point, the goal for Hornibrook should be to continue to recover in order to be 100 percent for Wisconsin’s bowl game, which will likely be at the end of December as things currently stand.
All stats courtesy of ESPN.com