Badgers RB Ball may face Huskers after head injury
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Already off to an unsettled start to the season, Wisconsin now must prepare for a trip to Nebraska with running back Montee Ball's status up in the air.
Ball left Saturday's game against UTEP with a head injury, and coach Bret Bielema said Monday he was optimistic but not certain that Ball will be able to practice this week as the Badgers (3-1) prepare for their Big Ten opener against the 22nd-ranked Cornhuskers (3-1).
Bielema said he was "not overly concerned" that Ball would have to sit out this week, even though it's the star running back's second head injury in less than two months.
"Montee will get evaluated, has the possibility of practicing on Tuesday," Bielema said. "We'll see where that goes."
Bielema said Ball was "really upbeat" when the two talked Saturday night. Ball, a Heisman Trophy finalist last season, missed most of camp after he was attacked near campus Aug. 1 and sustained a concussion. Three students have been charged in connection with the incident.
Bielema noted that Ball bounced back fairly quickly after the attack, and said his injury didn't appear to be severe on Saturday.
"He wasn't knocked out cold or anything like that," Bielema said.
Ball had nine carries for 40 yards and a touchdown before leaving. He also lost a fumble, the first of his career.
The good news for the Badgers is that they have plenty of depth behind Ball, as they showed in Saturday's 37-26 victory over a surprisingly competitive UTEP team.