Update: Badgers head coach Gary Andersen told reporters after this story was published that Stave is still out indefinitely, but not because of an injury. Read our update on that news conference and stay tuned for more developments of Stave’s condition and Wisconsin football coverage.
The Wisconsin football team’s quarterback situation just got that much more interesting with some oddly timed injury news.
After stating in his press conference Monday afternoon that the top two quarterbacks, Tanner McEvoy and Joel Stave, would play, head coach Gary Andersen announced Tuesday that Stave has had lingering shoulder problems and will sit out for an undetermined amount of time.
“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,” Andersen said in an injury update Tuesday morning. “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.”
Stave originally injured his throwing shoulder during UW’s New Year’s Day loss to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl and still has yet to make a full recovery. With Andersen’s description of the injury, Stave’s health very well might have decided the quarterback job.
The announcement comes as part two of a confusing sequence of events related to injuries. Following Saturday night’s 28-24 loss to LSU both Andersen and star running back Melvin Gordon confirmed that Gordon was healthy and the lack of second half carries was due to a coach’s decision. Then Monday afternoon in his press conference, Andersen said Gordon suffered a hip pointer and the staff was just trying to keep him fresh during the second half of play.
As far as what Stave’s injury means for Wisconsin, Tanner McEvoy will still start Saturday’s game as planned. However, instead of the possibility of using Stave should McEvoy run into trouble, McEvoy will be the starter for the foreseeable future until Stave recuperates his shoulder. Bart Houston is currently the third string quarterback, but the redshirt sophomore has yet to see significant playing time in a game in his career.