Wisconsin football could miss a handful of defensive standouts for another consecutive week. Many players will have to step up to fill the void left by these productive players.
Same story, different week for Wisconsin football. For what has become a constant theme for the season, Wisconsin will miss the services of some of their defensive leaders against Northwestern. Two players that have already been ruled out are Isaiahh Loudermilk and Travian Blaylock. Both Loudermilk and Blaylock have been inactive for a big chunk of the season, they just can’t seem to get healthy.
The updates regarding Loudermilk have been very cryptic coming from Paul Chryst. He continues to state that Loudermilk is working hard to get back on the field but that there is no timetable as of now. One has to wonder if the severity of Loudermilk’s injury could be worse than what many had initially anticipated.
The worst news from this week’s injury report is the appearance of nose tackle Olive Sagapolu. Sagapolu appeared to injure his leg after completing his incredible interception this past weekend. He did not return after that play. Many hoped that it was just a precaution given the significant lead the Badgers had and the inferior opponent they were facing. It seems that his injury could be serious enough where Sagapolu may have to miss some games. It was reported that Sagapolu was participating in individual drills, but was held out of the team drills involving full contact.
Injuries in the secondary continue to be a challenge for Jim Leonhard’s defensive unit. Safeties D’Cota Dixon, Scott Nelson, and Reggie Pearson are still being hampered by leg injuries that forced them to miss the Illinois game. Cornerback Deron Harrell allegedly went down with an injury in practice this week. And cornerback Faion Hicks had to sit out last week and was designated as questionable in the preliminary injury report. However, Leonhard assured members of the media that Hicks would be ready to go this Saturday. The return of Hicks could give the battered secondary a boost and some much-needed depth.
Just about the only good news from this week’s injury report is the absence of running back Bradrick Shaw. It is not clear if Shaw will actually play against Northwestern, but his absence from the injury report means the light at the end of the tunnel has to be close. Shaw has been grinding since the off-season to rehab his injury and regain his spot in the running back rotation. It would be a great sign to see if Shaw could get a couple of carries either this week or next week against Rutgers. Any time you can add depth to a position this late in the season it allows the coaching staff to have more flexibility in how they game plan for each opponent.
Badger fans should be checking Twitter for updates on who will and will not play before kick-off. Sagapolu and Dixon will be game-time decisions this week. With that being said let’s take a look at the injury report for when the Wisconsin Badgers take on the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston this weekend.