Badgers shut down Stave
Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen isn't panicking, but he acknowledged Wednesday he is concerned quarterback Joel Stave continues to experience pain in his right shoulder, which he injured in the Capital One Bowl.
“The minimum would be a moderate concern to me,” Andersen said during a Big Ten spring teleconference. “It's an issue. That's the reason for putting him out these last three practices to try to get a jump on the rehab as we move forward.
“The challenge is to truly identify the situation and start the rehab process. I didn't want to wait a week and have him go out there doing the same things.”
The Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday the staff had decided to shut down Stave for the final three practices of the spring. That includes the spring game, set for 3 p.m. Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.
“He's a tough young man,” Andersen said. “We've all seen him play a lot of games. He is a tough-minded kid. We've got to get him as close to 100%.
“For him to sit down is now what he wanted to do. But I believe it is the best thing for him as our doctors and trainers and everybody involved (work) in getting him back to 100 percent by the summer time.”
With Stave out, Tanner McEvoy is set to get the majority of the work with the No. 1 offense in the final week of spring ball.
McEvoy, who played in 10 games at safety last season before being moved back to quarterback at the start of the spring, said Tuesday he is much more comfortable with the offense. It is clear he will challenge Stave in camp for the starting spot.
Andersen has noticed that comfort level as well.
“There is a big gap and it's a very positive gap moving upward as far as him understanding the offense,” Andersen said. “He has had 13 practices now. He makes plays. He is a threat with his feet. The more he learns about the offense the better he is going to be.”