Wisconsin limping along despite 2-0 start
(TSX / STATS) -- MADISON, Wis. -- Heading into a key road showdown against BYU, the Wisconsin Badgers' injury report is quite extensive for this early in the season.
Wisconsin (2-0) might be without starting guards Beau Benzschawel and Jon Dietzen, both dealing with right leg injuries.
Safety Patrick Johnson is slowed by a left arm injury, while running backs Taiwan Deal and Bradrick Shaw both have right leg injuries. Deal will not play against BYU, but Shaw is questionable.
With four players already out for the season, including linebacker Jack Cichy, the Badgers will be without several key players in a potential pitfall game.
"It'll be probably this way at different position groups at different times," Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. "We'll see how Beau and Jon progress this week, and certainly you've got to keep working with and developing, whether it's (Jason Erdmann) or whoever it may be that has to go, make sure they're ready and confident in what we're doing and in themselves to help our team."
The onslaught of injuries will force some shuffling along the offensive line if Benzschawel and Dietzen are unable to man their guard spots.
Jason Erdmann is a player to watch, as he might slide into Dietzen's spot. Junior Micah Kapoi replaced Benzschawel in the second quarter of last week's win over Florida Atlantic. He can play both right and left guard.
There is some good news on the injury front.
Freshman wide receiver Kendric Pryor is cleared to play after sustaining facial injuries from a moped accident early in fall camp. Pryor is a dynamic threat, capable of producing a big play with his speed and athleticism.
"I thought KP was having a really good camp," Chryst said. "Last week, he was really able to start going non-contact, but at the receiver position was able to get a lot of routes in. The conditioning was as much as any part of it that he had to get back, so I'm anxious to see how much more he can do this week than last.
"It'll be good to get him going because I thought he was playing with confidence. I thought he was in a position to help us, not just on offense but certain areas on special teams. With him fully cleared now, don't know how fast it'll come, but I'm looking forward to it. I know he's anxious to get going, too."
--RB Jonathan Taylor was named the Big Ten's Co-Offensive Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week after rushing for 223 yards and three touchdowns in Wisconsin's 31-14 win over Florida Atlantic. Taylor leads the conference in rushing yards at 310 yards.
--QB Alex Hornibrook will be watched closely to see how he responds to Wisconsin's first road game of the season. BYU is a tough place to play, and how the sophomore leads the Badgers in an hostile environment against a team with countless big wins over the years could set the tone for the conference season.
--TE Troy Fumagalli will be Alex Hornibrook's main target with possible injuries on the offensive line hampering the offense. Look for Wisconsin's staff to emphasize short passes due to two starters questionable for the game.
Updated September 12, 2017