Once again the Wisconsin football injury report features a handful of prominent defensive players. The secondary will have to dig deep in order to overcome the continuing list of injuries.
The defense for Wisconsin football just can’t seem to get healthy. Just when you think a player is back to full strength he either suffers another injury or someone else takes his place. I know injuries are a part of the game, but it seems like Wisconsin is dealing with them more than most teams in the country. To make things worse they are not spread out over different units. The offense has had a couple of guys miss games, but the defense has been plagued with injuries since the start of the season. Wisconsin is a loyal follower of the mantra “next man up” which certainly has been tested so far this season.
Two players for certain will not play against Illinois this weekend. Isaiahh Loudermilk continues to deal with his leg injury and will miss his second consecutive game. Travian Blaylock will be inactive as well and has not played since the game against Iowa. Updates about the progress of Loudermilk have been understandably limited. I am curious to see if they want to give Loudermilk more rest going into an important Northwestern game or if his injury is a lot more serious. You have to feel for a guy like Loudermilk that fought through rehab all off-season to get on the field only to return to the sideline after another injury.
Jim Leonhard will definitely earn his paycheck this weekend. I do not envy him knowing that his top three safeties could be out as well as his best cornerback. The Wisconsin secondary has some promising young talent, but to have that many players potentially missing an entire game can become dangerous. Illinois does not have the most explosive passing game, but I am sure that will look to exploit an injured and young back-end of the Wisconsin defense. It will truly be a secondary by committee approach, anyone who is healthy enough to contribute on Saturday will most likely be given the opportunity to do so.
Some good news coming out the injury report this week is that Andrew Van Ginkel, Griffin Grady, Deron Harrell, and Caesar Williams do not make an appearance. Van Ginkel has made plenty of appearances on the injury report this year so it is nice to see him finally off it and getting closer to being fully healthy. Grady is another guy who seemed to be always present on the injury report, he could see his first game action since the opener. Arguably the best news is that Bradrick Shaw has not been ruled as out. In the last couple of weeks, he had been ruled out before each game despite being listed as questionable earlier in the week. This is the first week where he could potentially be a game-time decision.
Badger fans should be checking Twitter for updates on who will play and who will not play about an hour before kick-off. There will be about five 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 Illinois Fighting Illini this weekend.