The University of Wisconsin will be without two key starters in a crucial game at Camp Randall Stadium against No. 25 Iowa this week.
Wide receiver Quintez Cephus (right leg) and inside linebacker Chris Orr (left leg) were ruled out Monday after the two left Saturday’s win at Indiana.
UW coach Paul Chryst did not give a timetable on either player’s return and said Cephus expects to meet with doctors Monday or Tuesday to find out more about the severity of his injury.
Cephus emerged as the Badgers’ clear No. 1 wideout this season, catching 30 passes for 501 yards and six touchdowns through nine games. His leg got caught under right guard Beau Benzschawel on a third-quarter play, leading to his injury.
"I know he played last year, but this was kind of his first year of really having a significant role,” Chryst said. "Quintez brought a ton of energy to the group. It doesn’t matter whether it was a run or a pass. We’re going to miss Quintez for whatever amount of time it will be."
Orr went down after attempting to make a tackle in the first quarter and appeared to be grabbing his hamstring when being evaluated on the field.
His absence follows the loss of Jack Cichy at inside linebacker, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament during fall camp in August.
That leaves T.J. Edwards and Ryan Connelly as starters for at least this week, with junior Arrington Farrar as the No. 3 at the position after he switched from safety to inside linebacker this spring. Redshirt freshman Mike Maskalunas may be the most likely candidate for playing time if the Badgers choose to keep a four-man rotation at the position, along with redshirt freshman Noah Burks. Each played four snaps late against Indiana, per Pro Football Focus.
“Arrington Farrar and (Mike) Maskalunas are going to be big this week,” Edwards said. “It’s one of those things where Mikey hasn’t gotten a lot of reps in games or even in practice because it’s been kind of a four-man rotation, so this week he’s going to get the bulk of the reps taking just about all the twos.
"I was excited to see him out there last week just getting as many game reps as he could. He’s going to be a big part this week."
Safety D’Cota Dixon (right leg) enters the week questionable. Dixon did not play two weeks ago at Illinois and exited halfway through last week’s game at Indiana. Defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk (left leg) and running back Chris James (left leg) are also questionable to play against Iowa.
Wide receivers Jazz Peavy (right leg, personal) and George Rushing (left leg) and tight end Luke Benzschawel (right leg) will remain out this week.
UW expects Austin Ramesh (head) to return Saturday after removing him from the injury report.
Michigan kickoff time to be announced Sunday
The kickoff time for UW’s game against Michigan at Camp Randall Stadium on Nov. 18 will not be announced until Sunday.
Under the Big Ten’s new television deal, networks have the option to wait on selecting games until six days prior to the event.
The Badgers’ game against the Wolverines will kick off at either 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. or 3 p.m.
Taylor earns Big Ten award for 5th time
The Big Ten named UW running back Jonathan Taylor its Freshman of the Week for the fifth time this year, tied for the third-most in conference history.
Taylor rushed for 183 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries against Indiana. For the season, he leads the Big Ten with 1,386 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns.