Wisconsin O-Line in the huddle.

Wisconsin football injuries: Stave, Voltz, Wheelwright, and more

At Paul Chryst’s weekly Monday press conference today, some major injury news were announced.

Quarterback Joel Stave, who missed most of the game against Illinois on Saturday, has been going through concussion protocol. Similar to Alex Erickson and Michael Caputo, as long as everything goes well this week, Stave is expected to play on Saturday against Rutgers. Junior Bart Houston, Stave’s backup, played well in Stave’s place, but Stave would clearly get the start over Houston at this point.

Running back Corey Clement has a pretty good chance of playing Saturday against Rutgers. Chryst told the media: “We’ll see what this week brings, and we’re looking forward to that. The practice will determine when he’s ready.” Most signs point to Clement making a return against his home state’s team. Chryst had no update on running back Taiwan Deal.

Center Dan Voltz, who suffered a knee injury at the end of the Illinois game, is out for the year, Chryst announced. Voltz, one of the two leaders on the offensive line along with Tyler Marz, will be missed dearly on the offense. Redshirt freshman Michael Deiter, who has played left guard until Voltz’s injuries the past two games, will slide over to center. Redshirt freshman Micah Kapoi, who replaced Deiter at left guard in Voltz’s absence, will start at left guard.

That leaves the Badgers offensive line looking like this: LT Tyler Marz, LG Micah Kapoi, C Michael Deiter, RG Walker Williams, and RT Beau Benzschawel. Chryst also said on Monday that he does not expect offensive linemen Ray Ball or Hayden Biegel to return this season.

At wide receiver, Chryst announced wide receiver Robert Wheelwright (leg), who was on crutches after the Illinois game, “will be out for a period of time.” Tanner McEvoy will be asked to step up at the second wide receiver spot along with Jazz Peavy, George Rushing, and Jordan Frederick.

These injuries, especially to Voltz and Wheelwright, will be difficult for the Badgers to overcome. With clear problems on offense without Clement, Voltz and Wheelwright’s absences will significantly impact the offense’s production. Luckily for the Badgers, the defense is very healthy besides losing Leon Jacobs (toe) for the season and Arthur Goldberg missing last game.

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