Wisconsin's Taylor out with more knee issues

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Wisconsin sophomore linebacker Mike Taylor's right knee will likely keep him off the field for at least one game, the Sept. 4 opener at UNLV.

Taylor was lost for the 2009 season in the seventh game of the season with a tear in the ACL in his right knee. He rehabbed to get back on the field for fall camp but needs a scope on the same knee. Coach Bret Bielema announced Sunday, at Wisconsin's media day, that Taylor could miss two to four weeks.

The team's top linebacker, Taylor said he hopes to return before the Big Ten schedule begins. The Badgers' first conference game is Oct. 2 at Michigan State.

Taylor didn't practice last fall because of a hamstring injury. He had surgery on his neck and redshirted as a freshman in 2008.

--Iowa sophomore running back Brandon Wegher hasn't rejoined the team. He left the Hawkeyes a week ago, but the university said he's welcome back if he so chooses but is first sorting out personal issues.

"I think right now, he just needs some time to sort things out," coach Kirk Ferentz said after Saturday's practice. "That happens in life to all of us. He probably just needs a little time away right now."

Wegher is the top backup to starter Adam Robinson and gained 641 yards rushing as a freshman. In his absence, Jewel Hampton, a highly touted recruit who missed last season after tearing knee ligaments, would be the top backup. However, Hampton was suspended for the Sept. 4 opener against Eastern Illinois because of an arrest in the offseason.

"We're a better football team with him," Ferentz said of Wegher, "but more importantly, hopefully, he comes to the conclusion that he really enjoys this."

--Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans returned to the field for the Hokies at the team's first preseason scrimmage. Evans tore the ACL in his left knee just over one year ago (Aug. 12), when he was the returning starter for Tech. He was the MVP of the Orange Bowl and gained 1,265 yards with 11 touchdowns in 2008.

Getting Evans back should make Virginia Tech one of the top rushing teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference, if not the entire country.

In the weekend scrimmage, Ryan Williams had four carries but Evans ran 12 times for 60 yards, had a bounce it his step and looked strong. The Hokies even employed a shotgun set with mobile quarterback Tyrod Taylor between Evans and Williams.

--Georgia Tech sophomore safety Jemea Thomas will redshirt because of the Yellow Jackets' quality at defensive back. Thomas was unlikely to play beyond kick coverage. Sophomore linebacker Julian Burnett, in a similar numbers crunch, could also redshirt.

--Alabama junior running back Jeramie Griffin won't play this season after failing his preseason physical. It's likely his career is over because of a knee injury he suffered almost exactly a year ago during preseason workouts. He will get a medical scholarship, Alabama coach Nick Saban said, and has been offered a job as a student coach.

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