Could Wisconsin enter the start of the Big Ten season without Jack Coan?
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the QB suffered a foot injury at practice and is out indefinitely. The injury reportedly happened at practice on Saturday and Coan will be out “several weeks” after he has surgery.
If Coan can’t open the season as No. 19 Wisconsin’s starter, the Badgers will likely go with Graham Mertz at QB. Mertz, a sophomore, was Coan’s backup in 2019 and threw just 10 passes all season. Mertz was a four-star recruit in the class of 2019 and rated as the No. 2 pro-style QB by Rivals.
Coan was one of six returning starters for the Badgers in 2020. He was 236-of-339 passing for 2,727 yards and 18 touchdowns to just five interceptions. He was an extremely efficient passer who played well off Jonathan Taylor and the powerful Wisconsin rushing attack.
But now Wisconsin is facing the prospect of starting the season without Coan, Taylor, WR Quintez Cephus — the team’s leading receiver in 2019 — and three starters on the offensive line. That’s a lot to replace for a team that’s projected to be the favorite in the Big Ten West.
Wisconsin does open the season with a relatively easy schedule. The Badgers play Illinois, Nebraska and Purdue before facing their first ranked opponent in Michigan on Nov. 14. The schedule could give the offense time to adapt, though it’s worth pointing out that Illinois was the team that knocked the Badgers from the ranks of the unbeaten in 2019.