Badgers outside linebacker Tyler Johnson, safety Reggie Pearson questionable for BYU game

September 11, 2018 GMT

Tyler Johnson’s left leg injury suffered on the first drive against New Mexico on Saturday likely won’t keep him out long.

The University of Wisconsin’s No. 3 outside linebacker was listed as questionable on the Badgers’ preliminary injury report for this week’s game against BYU at Camp Randall Stadium.

Safety Reggie Pearson (left leg) and kicker/punter P.J. Rosowski (right leg) are also listed as questionable. Pearson, a true freshman, missed the season’s first two games. After sophomore Patrick Johnson left the program last week, Pearson moved into UW’s two-deep depth chart and could play a meaningful role this season when healthy.


Inside linebacker Griffin Grady (right leg) is out against the Cougars, along with fellow inside linebacker Mike Maskalunas (right leg), tight end Luke Benzschawel (right leg), running back Bradrick Shaw (left leg) and defensive end Kraig Howe (right leg).

With both Grady and Maskalunas out, the Badgers elevated true freshman Jack Sanborn, a highly ranked recruit who has yet to play this season, into a second-team spot on the depth chart beside Chris Orr.

UW coach Paul Chryst said Grady’s injury isn’t as serious as UW initially thought, but Sanborn could see a chance at playing time Saturday. New NCAA rules allow players to see action in up to four games and still redshirt.

“He did do some really good things in camp, and I think Jack’s got a natural linebacker instinct to him,” Chryst said. “I think he’s big enough and also sure enough in what he’s doing - not that he doesn’t have a lot to learn - but he’s sure enough that he can play physical. ... He’s got a good understand of what we’re doing, and then I think he trusts his talents and kind of that linebacker instinct.”

The Badgers have been able to avoid major injuries to key players since defensive end Garrett Rand suffered a season-ending Achilles injury this summer. Both tight end Zander Neuville (right leg) and defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk (left leg) returned from length absences last week against New Mexico.

Neuville shouldered a heavy workload with 54 snaps, per Pro Football Focus, while Loudermilk saw the field for 27 plays - 10 of which came on the game’s first drive.

“Isaiahh, he played well and had some production and thought was disruptive,” Chryst said. “He came out of it well. Getting those first snaps are important and kind of getting back into the groove of it. ... I think there are a number of areas where he can get better, and playing will help that.”

Taylor honored for career day

Jonathan Taylor earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors after posting a career-high 253 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries in UW’s 45-14 win over New Mexico.

It was the first time Taylor’s won the award since rushing for 249 yards and two touchdowns against Nebraska on Oct. 7 of last year.

Taylor’s performance against the Lobos marked the 12th time in his 16-game career that he’s reached 100 rushing yards and the fourth time he’s surpassed 200.