What looked to be a promising season for the Wisconsin football team took another turn for the worse today as head coach Bret Bielema announced redshirt freshman linebacker Mike Taylor would not return this season after injuring his right knee Saturday against Iowa.
“The good thing for us is that Mike’s only a redshirt freshman,” Bielema said on the Big Ten coaches’ weekly teleconference. “He’ll have three quality years in front of him. But we’ll help him get through this difficult time.”
Taylor, a starting outside linebacker, was the team’s leader in tackles with 43 and solo tackles with 20, as well as being second behind defensive end O’Brien Schofield with 6 1/2 tackles for loss.
Though the team did not appear to miss Taylor much after he went down Saturday, the loss should prove significant down the road, especially with his replacement, freshman Chris Borland, being banged up with shoulder and groin injuries.
Borland led Wisconsin with 10 tackles against Iowa, including 2 1/2 for loss.
The injury is the third major injury of 2009 for Taylor, who fought through a neck injury in the spring and hamstring issues during fall camp.