It’s bad enough that the Wisconsin Badgers will open the season against the Alabama Crimson Tide (Roll Tide¡) in the Advocare Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (the house that Jerrah built…the 8th wonder of the world¡). Throw in having to start Joel Stave (really…no one else is better?!) at quarterback with an unproven line in front of him (also see below), and the lack of a serviceable wide receiver (Alex Erickson is okay, I guess…but a no. 1?) or tight end, and having no proven backup to Corey Clement at running back (the backup was a reserve CB at this time last year)…and you have a recipe for disaster (big time)! How is the spread only 10.5 (seriously)?!
Well…things are only getting worse for new head coach Paul Chryst. The Badgers are only two weeks into practice and the injuries are starting to pile up (and a scrimmage is set for this Saturday). The following players (17!) are injured and/or have missed practice in the last couple of days (in no particular order):
Jacob Maxwell (shoulder), Jon Dietzen (ankle…also nice hair¡), Hayden Biegel (head), Beau Benzschawel (knee), Arthur Goldberg (foot), Zack Baun (head…saw in T&F what a stud athlete he is), Austin Ramesh (hamstring), TJ Edwards (shoulder), Leon Jacobs (toe), Jeremy Patterson (knee), Jake Keefer (hip), Arrington Farrar (mono), Eric Steffes (back), Jason Erdmann (ankle), Caleb Kinlaw (groin), Jake Whalen (knee), and Ty DeForest (abdominal).
That is quite the lengthy list! Some of these players are starters or potential starters and need the valuable reps in practice. Others are backups, that will likely be needed at some point and/or are contributors on special teams. With all the injures, one has to wonder what it going on in terms of conditioning at Madison?! Granted, injures are a part of football and some injuries just can’t be avoided, but it is very disconcerting at this point of the preseason (16 days until the Alabama game). Hopefully, most injuries are just minor and the Badgers will be as close to full strength as possible September 5th against the Crimson Tide…because they are going to need every possible body to win that game…or to keep it within three touchdowns (because there is no longer a Melvin Gordon around to bail this team out).