After watching Tanner McEvoy put up some horrific numbers in Wisconsin’s loss to LSU — 8-of-24 passing for 50 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions — many were calling for backup Joel Stave to come in and save the quarterbacking day.
Unfortunately for the Badgers, that’s simply not possible. At least, not at the moment.
UW announced Tuesday that Stave will miss some time due to a lingering shoulder issue, which was a point of concern for the coaching staff throughout spring practice. It’s unclear how long the senior will be sidelined.
“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,” head coach Gary 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.”
Putting Stave on the shelf also explains why McEvoy wasn’t yanked in the midst of his subpar performance.
Stave started all 13 games for the Badgers last season, while the 6-6, 222-pound McEvoy was moved to safety — played in 10 games, started three — before returning to quarterback in the spring. The naming of McEvoy as the starter for the opener came as a surprise given the experience on both sides, including McEvoy’s lack of it.
With Stave out for the foreseeable future, however, the Badgers’ fortunes will rest with McEvoy. Redshirt sophomore Bart Houston will now serve as McEvoy’s primary backup.
In addition to the Stave news, Anderson also announced that tight end T.J. Watt will “miss an extended amount of time” because of injury. Anderson said the younger brother of UW legend J.J. Watt “suffered a right knee injury during camp which required surgery.”
“[W]e hope to have him back on the practice field at some point during the conference season,” the coach said of Watt.