Wisconsin junior quarterback Joel Stave and freshman tight end T.J. Watt will both miss time due to injuries, UW head coach Gary Andersen announced Tuesday, via press release from UW athletic communications.
“T.J. suffered a right knee injury during camp which required surgery,” Andersen said in the release. “He will miss an extended amount of time but we hope to have him back on the practice field at some point during the conference season.
“Joel has been dealing with some issues with his throwing shoulder for the last couple of weeks and we have come to a decision, after talking with Joel, that the best thing for him right now is to shut it down and give him some rest. It was a tough decision because Joel is a great competitor and has a tremendous desire to help this team. We will continue to monitor his progress but we’re not putting a timetable on his return at this time.”
Stave appeared to have won the job over fellow junior Tanner McEvoy according to most observers of camp. However, as the starting quarterback was leaked to the media it was McEvoy that would make the start and not Stave.
Rumors began running, and apparently one was dead on — the one that had McEvoy winning the job because of a shoulder injury to Stave once again.
It has to be concerning for the coaching staff, Stave and everyone associated with the program because this injury just never seems to go away. In spring, Stave began throwing a bit towards the middle of camp but was quickly shut down until this summer.
This would be the third time in less than a year that Stave’s shoulder has caused him to miss time away from the program and seems errily familiar to what happened to a now-ex quarterback Jon Budmayr.
It could also explain why head coach Gary Andersen stated that he wasn’t sold on automatically redshirting freshman quarterback D.J. Gillins.
With the Badgers taking on Western Illinois, should McEvoy struggle some more we could end up seeing Gillins get his shot at running the Badgers offense. Either way, it puts the Badgers in an interesting dilemma at the quarterback spot.
Let’s hope that Stave can make a speedy recovery for the sake of experience and depth on this team.