Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave was knocked out with a head injury during the Badgers’ win at Illinois last weekend. And though Stave was cleared to return to the game by team doctors — and did momentarily get back in there — head coach Paul Chryst didn’t think he looked right, and Stave sat out the rest of the contest.
But Stave is good to go now, per Chryst, who said on Tuesday’s Big Ten coaches teleconference that Stave went through the concussion protocol and was cleared to practice.
“Feel good about Joel,” Chryst said. “He’s gone through all the concussion protocol, and so he’ll be able to practice this week.”
Unless something else pops up during the week, it would seem a safe bet that Stave will be starting at quarterback for Wisconsin in Saturday’s game against Rutgers.
That might not be the news that everyone wanted to hear, necessarily, as fans have been less than pleased with Stave’s performance for much of the season.
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Backup quarterback Bart Houston relieved the injured Stave against Illinois and had a big afternoon, completing 22 of his 33 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns, while also throwing a pair of interceptions.
Stave ranks fourth in the Big Ten with 1,757 passing yards. He’s completed 61.7 percent of his passes and has eight touchdown passes compared to five interceptions.
Chryst left no doubt that Stave, if healthy, will be the guy at quarterback come Saturday.
“Joel’s our starting quarterback, and he’s been doing some real good things for this team,” Chryst said. “I’m proud of and appreciative of how Bart stepped in and what he did and how he contributed in a big way to getting a good win for us. You feel good that Bart was able to come in and execute and do some things. And I feel good — as does our team — with where Joel is and what he means to this team.”