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Wisconsin Badgers QB Alex Hornibrook in concussion protocol

Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook has entered the concussion protocol, putting his status for Saturday’s key Big Ten game against Northwestern in question, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.

No. 20 Wisconsin is preparing backup Jack Coan to start in case Hornibrook is not medically cleared to play on Saturday.

According to a report from The Journal Sentinel in Milwaukee, Hornibrook was seen going through conditioning drills, which is typical for players entered in the concussion protocol.

Hornibrook has had concussion issues before. Hornibrook missed the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game against Penn State because of a concussion, and he was limited in the Cotton Bowl against Western Michigan that same season after suffering a concussion in the final regular-season game.

Coan has not played at all this season, but played in six games last season, when he completed all five passes he threw.

Wisconsin has been hoping to redshirt him, and the Badgers can still do so even if he plays on Saturday. A new NCAA rule allows players to appear in up to four games before losing that year of eligibility.

The Badgers are 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference, and Northwestern is 4-3 overall and 4-1 in conference play. They are among four teams atop the Big Ten West with one conference loss apiece.

Wisconsin is coming off a 49-20 victory over Illinois in which Hornibrook was 13-of-22 for 188 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

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