Injury report for Wisconsin Football vs. Central Michigan

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 07: Linebacker Chris Orr (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 07: Linebacker Chris Orr (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

After a blowout win to open the season, Wisconsin Football hosts Central Michigan on Saturday. Which Badgers are nursing injuries?

Unsurprisingly, the slim injury report that Wisconsin began the season with last week has quickly expanded.

The Badgers came out with this week’s report for the upcoming matchup with Central Michigan today, and though they would probably be capable of taking down a team like the Chippewas with strictly the reserves, the list is not pretty. Wisconsin will be without multiple starters, and the availability of the heart and soul of the player many fans consider to be the heart and soul of the defense is also up in the air.

With that being said, let’s take a look at this week’s injury report for the Badgers.

As a reminder, the following  players will be sidelined for the entirety of the season for the Badgers: 

  • Cade Green – Wide Receiver
  • Gabe Lloyd – Tight End
  • Josh Bernhagen – Long Snapper


  • Chris Orr – Inside Linebacker


  • Luke Benzschawel – Tight End
  • Logan Bruss – Offensive Line
  • Izayah Green-May – Outside Linebacker
  • Scott Nelson – Safety
  • Zander Neuville – Tight End

Benzschawel remains out for the second straight week as he continues to recover from the leg injury he suffered in fall camp. He’s joined on the report this week by fellow in-line tight end Zander Neuville, who was just cleared by the UW medical staff to return to action last week after being granted a surprise sixth year of eligibility. However, after not participating in spring or fall practices, the Badgers are taking his return very slowly and will not be rushing him into game action. With those two still out, Jack Eschenbach remains behind Jake Ferguson on the two-deep.

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Bruss is nursing a left leg injury and will not play this week after starting at right tackle against South Florida. Luckily, the Badgers have great depth on the offensive line and should feel confident that the unit will not skip a beat with David Moorman and Tyler Beach, who are listed as co-starters on the depth chart in Bruss’ place.

After notching his first career sack against the Bulls last Friday, Green-May will be sidelined with a right arm injury. After sitting behind Green-May on the two-deep last week, Noah Burks is listed as the starter this week in his absence. Expect to see quite a bit of Jaylan Franklin as well this week, as he will be the reserve behind Burks and is coming off of a great performance against South Florida in which he tallied a sack and a tackle for loss.

Eric Burrell will move up to the first team at free safety on the depth chart with Nelson out with a left leg injury. I wouldn’t expect much, if any, of a drop off here, as Burrell is definitely a starting-caliber player. Indeed, most Badger fans figured he would be the starter at strong safety alongside Nelson ahead of Reggie Pearson prior to fall camp. Burrell also had a nice game last week, picking off South Florida quarterback Blake Barnett.

Orr is listed as questionable for now with a right leg injury that sidelined him for much of the second half against the Bulls. Even while missing so much of the game, Orr still put up five tackles, good for second on the team. However, if he’s unable to go against the Chippewas, it’s safe to say either Mike Maskalunas or Leo Chenal will start in his place and do a darn good job. Even if Orr plays, and regardless of who opens the game with the ones if he doesn’t, Maskalunas and Chenal will both play a bunch on Saturday. They were each excellent against South Florida, with the former leading the Badgers in tackles and the latter in a three-way tie with Orr and Jack Sanborn for second.

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Those are six very important players for Wisconsin this season, folks. That being said, while fans are right to be concerned that these players are not healthy at this early juncture in the season, they can at least rest easy knowing the Badgers certainly do not need to be at full strength to defeat the Chippewas comfortably, though, of course, that would be ideal.

Additionally, though we know that Benzschawel will more likely than not be out for a while after suffering an ugly leg injury in fall camp that was witnessed by the media, we can’t yet speak to the severity of the injuries of the other five players on the report. I think it’s likely in some of these cases that the coaching staff is simply being cautious: again, Wisconsin is facing a weak opponent on Saturday, and the Badgers should be able to win comfortably even if all six of these guys are out. With a bye next week and a very talented Michigan squad coming to town the following weekend, if these guys are not at full strength, two straight weeks of taking it easy could work wonders in getting them closer to 100 percent for the Wolverines.

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This post will be updated as new information becomes available throughout the week.

All stats courtesy of Sports Reference