When it was reported earlier in the week that Wisconsin was shutting Joel Stave down for the remainder of spring practice, it was thought the move was simply precautionary in nature and the quarterback would easily be back and healthy for the start of summer camp.
While that may end up being the case, it’s far from a certainty based on the words of the player’s head coach.
Speaking on a Big Ten teleconference Wednesday, Gary Andersen sounded decidedly concerned and slightly pessimistic about the long-term health of Stave and his right (throwing) shoulder — and perhaps even his availability for the upcoming season.
“It’s a concern,” the Badgers coach said. “The minimum would be a moderate concern to me…
“It’s an issue. That’s the reason for putting him out these last three practices to try to get a jump on the rehab as we move forward. The challenge is to truly identify the situation and start the rehab process. I didn’t want to wait a week and have him go out there doing the same things.
“He’s a young man. We’ve all seen him play a lot of games. He is a tough-minded kid. We’ve got to get him as close to 100%.”
With Stave sidelined, former South Carolina quarterback Tanner McEvoy will handle most of the first-team reps in the Badgers’ spring game Saturday.