The Wisconsin Badgers were already facing an uphill battle in visiting Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday, and now, things will be even more difficult for Paul Chryst’s team. Senior linebacker Vince Biegel will miss the match-up between top-10 teams as a result of a foot injury, and ESPN’s Jesse Temple caught up with Biegel’s father, who actually broke the news with a full-on diagnosis:
“He’s been playing on it for the last couple weeks, and it was bothering him a little bit. He had X-rays last night and confirmed it was cracked. He either plays on it, and then if he breaks it, then he’s going to be out for eight weeks. Either way, he’s got to have surgery on it. So he can keep playing until it breaks or try to go through the season with it and try to fix it. At any time, he could break it all the way through. It was just a crack and they’re just putting a screw in it. It’s a very, very minor crack.”
Wisconsin is a double-digit underdog on the road, but many have pointed to the Badgers as a potential candidate to pull the significant upset. Still, the absence of Biegel will be crucial on the field, as he is Wisconsin’s best linebacker in a match-up where that position is extremely important against Michigan’s power running game and in covering All-American tight end Jake Butt.
For the Badgers, this absence of Biegel means more snaps for a couple of unproven players in Zack Baun and, potentially, Garrett Dooley, and it feels safe to assume neither replicate the impact of the vastly experienced senior. Earlier in the week, Wisconsin also lost fantastic kicker Rafael Gaglianone for the rest of the year and, frankly, the prospects of an unexpected win look ugly at this point.