Wisconsin fans wondering why Joel Stave didn’t come into last weekend’s game against LSU to try and save the day, now have their answer.
Coach Gary Andersen announced Tuesday that Stave, last year’s starter, was dealing with issues in his throwing shoulder and would indefinitely be shut down to allow his injury to heal.
“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,” Andersen said in a statement. “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.”
This clears a lot of things up.
After watching quarterback Tanner McEvoy struggle against LSU, fans were clamoring for Stave to come in and help. He never did. McEvoy went on to complete 33 percent of his passes for 50 yards and two interceptions.
It also explains how McEvoy “beat out” Stave, who appeared poised to win the starting job after having it a year ago. McEvoy basically defaulted into the role.
This is a huge blow for a Wisconsin team that had victory against LSU within its grasp and allowed the Tigers to score 21 unanswered points and steal a victory. If it had won that game, it might have had a clear path to an undefeated season, especially with a relatively weak schedule.
Now, the Badgers will have to lean on McEvoy, especially with star running back Melvin Gordon hampered with a hip flexor injury. McEvoy will have plenty of opportunity to gain a little confidence against Western Illinois, Bowling Green and South Florida in the coming weeks. It might also be an opportunity to see if Bart Houston can live up to his recruiting hype from a couple years ago.
Either way, Wisconsin is going to have to make one of their quarterbacks competent so that this season doesn’t go from a potential playoff year to a disappointing campaign.
** The team also announced tight end T.J. Watt suffered a right knee injury during fall camp that required surgery.
For more Wisconsin news, visit BadgerBlitz.com.
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