Wisconsin is traveling to Northwestern for a key game in the Big Ten West standings. The Badgers may have to play the game without starting quarterback Alex Hornibrook too.
According to multiple reports out of Wisconsin today, Hornibrook has entered concussion protocol to put his availability for this weekend in question. To prepare for the potential absence of the experienced starter, Wisconsin is preparing backup Jack Coan to start just in case it is needed. The news was first reported by the Wisconsin Radio Network and then followed up by The Journal Sentinel.
According to the report from The Journal Sentinel, Hornibrook was seen going through conditioning drills that is typical for players entered in the concussion protocol. Hornibrook has dealt with concussion problems before in his time at Wisconsin. In 2016, a concussion forced Hornibrook to miss the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game, a loss to Penn State, and he was limited in the Cotton Bowl against Western Michigan that bowl season after suffering a concussion in the final game of the regular season in 2016.
Coan appeared in six games for Wisconsin in 2017, in which he completed all five pass attempts he made. Coan has not played this season, as Wisconsin has been holding off on using him with the new redshirt rule in place. Players can appear in up to four games before having to burn a year of eligibility, so not playing Coan has allowed for some roster flexibility for the Badgers. Coan would be getting the nod over Danny Vanden Boom, who has appeared in two games this season.