Wisconsin Badgers tight end Zander Neuville is likely to miss the remainder of the season after suffering a serious left knee injury during practice this week.
Badgers Head Coach Paul Chryst delivered the news while speaking to UW Athletics this morning.
“As a team you’ve got to overcome that, but you feel terrible for [Zander],” Chryst said.
Neuville was only three games into his comeback from an ACL tear in his right knee he suffered in the Badgers’ regular-season finale against Minnesota last year.
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The fifth-year senior made his season debut and comeback from right knee surgery against New Mexico after a hamstring complaint kept him out of the season opener against Western Kentucky.
However, suffering the injury this week has put an end to his comeback before it fully took flight, having only managed one reception this season — a three-yard catch against New Mexico.
It was a senior season that promised a lot for Neuville, having been named to the preseason John Mackey Award watch list — an award presented annually to college football’s most outstanding tight end.
His place on the award watch list recognized his standing as a top college tight end, having secured nine catches and two touchdowns last season before the injury put an end to his campaign.
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As a fifth-year senior, it is likely Neuville has played his last game for the Badgers, but a look back at his time in the cardinal and white is intriguing.
Neuville, who hails from Waupaca, Wisconsin, came to the team in 2014 as a walk-on before being awarded a scholarship prior to the start of the 2015 season.
He began his Badger career as a defensive end and special teams player before gradually transitioning to tight end. In the 2016 season, he saw action on all sides of the ball but transitioned into more of a specialty tight end role in 2017, making 11 starts at the position.
Coach Cryst says the loss of Neuville is tough, especially considering it’s his senior season, but the team will have to respond.
“You hate to see someone you care about go through that,” Chryst said. “A lot of different people will have to step up.”