Wisconsin Football’s injury report remains pretty slim this week for Kent State, but a couple of key Badgers did receive some bad news.
We’re now four games through the season, and Wisconsin has yet to suffer a truly devastating injury that could seriously derail its Big Ten title hopes. However, some key players who the Badgers would love to have on the field have been bitten by the injury bug to varying degrees of severity. Regardless, Bucky hardly needs to be at full strength to handily defeat this Saturday’s opponent, Kent State, and I would expect the Wisconsin staff to use this week as an opportunity to allow guys that are hurting to take it easy just a bit.
With that being said, let’s take a look at this week’s injury report for the Badgers.
OUT FOR SEASON
- Cade Green – Wide Receiver
- Gabe Lloyd – Tight End
- Josh Bernhagen – Safety
- Zander Neuville – Tight End
- Scott Nelson – Safety
- Luke Benzschawel – Tight End
- Bryson Williams – Nose Tackle
- Madison Cone – Safety
The biggest news this week is that Luke Benzschawel is officially shutting it down for the remainder of the season as he continues recovering from that ugly-looking right leg injury he suffered in fall camp and that has kept him out of every game so far. While disappointing, frankly, this is probably something many Badger fans have seen coming for a while. Wisconsin has managed to find a way to get along just fine without his steady presence as an in-line blocker, utilizing many looks that include additional linemen such as the renowned Hippo package.
Additionally, Cormac Sampson has risen to the No. 2 spot on the depth chart behind Jake Ferguson this week. Though he was originally recruited as a tight end out of high school, the converted offensive lineman probably isn’t going to catch many passes, but he has looked pretty reliable as a blocker as of late in Benzschawel’s absence.
Bryson Williams is still listed as questionable this week with that lingering left leg injury that has kept him out of Wisconsin’s last three games. Though he didn’t record any statistics against Northwestern, Keeanu Benton has continued to provide a solid presence at nose tackle in Williams’ place when he’s on the field. Williams’ absence is also partially mitigated by the excellent play the Badgers have gotten from their defensive ends, Matt Henningsen in particular.
Given the quality of Wisconsin’s opponent this weekend, you would think there’s a strong possibility that Williams ends up sitting this one out: there’s no urgent need get him on the field against a team of Kent State’s caliber, and with the matchup with Michigan State looming next week, the Badgers would probably be better served by letting him rest.
After originally being listed as questionable on the injury report that was released on Tuesday, it appears as though Leo Chenal will play on Saturday.
The true freshman had been in the midst of a phenomenal start to his first year in the program before being forced to sit out against Northwestern with a head injury, so hopefully, he can pick up right where he left off against an underwhelming team in the Golden Flashes. Chenal’s return will only bolster an inside linebacker corps that was outstanding against the Wildcats: Chris Orr was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts (9 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss and a forced fumble), and Jack Sanborn led the team with 13 total tackles, the first time any Badger has recorded double-digit tackles in a game this season.
We’ll conclude this week’s injury report with a bit of bad news, as Madison Cone will be out for the second straight contest with a left leg injury.
The junior safety recorded two tackles while appearing in Wisconsin’s first three games before being sidelined last weekend. Cone’s absence should not be of much consequence to a Badger defense that is extremely deep at his position. Reserves John Torchio and Collin Wilder stepped up and performed very well against Northwestern, a game in which those two had to start and play a ton of snaps in the first half with Reggie Pearson and Eric Burrell forced to sit out until the third quarter. That rock-solid quartet should be more than enough to get the job done in the defensive backfield against Kent State.
All stats courtesy of Sports Reference