Sophomore Groy set to take over at center
Coach Bret Bielema said Monday that Konz will be replaced by sophomore Ryan Groy when No. 15 Wisconsin (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten) plays its final road game of the season Saturday at Illinois (6-4, 2-4).
Groy started at left guard earlier this season against Oregon State as Travis Frederick recovered from a knee injury.
Konz, who stayed in Minneapolis on Saturday night for evaluation, did not require surgery. It took time to maneuver Konz’s ankle back in place, Bielema said, but nothing was structurally damaged and tests performed Sunday and Monday were positive.
“He came out of it about as good as you could possibly hope,” Bielema said. “My guess is that Pete will be back faster than most people think. Pete is the best center in college football that I’ve seen play the game.
“Any time you lose someone of that caliber, it obviously hurts in a certain regard, but the good thing is, we’ve got depth at the offensive line.”
The Badgers close the regular season on Nov. 26 against visiting Penn State (8-2, 5-1). Victories over the Illini and Nittany Lions would give UW the Leaders Division title and a berth in the league title game.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Jared Abbrederis could play Saturday. He suffered a bruised shoulder returning a second-half kickoff against Minnesota.
Abbrederis is expected to practice later this week in preparation for the Illini.
He has 40 catches for 641 yards and five touchdowns this season.
Bielema says he hasn’t made a decision whether to play defensive end David Gilbert, who has missed all six Big Ten games as he recovers from a broken foot.
“I definitely don’t want to put a kid out there that has a risk of aggravating it again,” Bielema said. Gilbert is eligible to apply for a medical waiver and would have two seasons of eligibility left.