MADISON - The Wisconsin football team was on the wrong end of one of the more serious blows a team can suffer following three games Tuesday morning.
Chris Borland, the explosive linebacker and reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year, will be held out for the rest of the season after suffering a shoulder injury early in Saturday's win over Arizona State.
"After talking with our training staff and with Chris, we decided that the best thing for Chris was to shut him down for the rest of the year," Bielema said in a written statement. "Obviously Chris is a tremendous player and a ferocious competitor but after looking at all the options, everyone agreed this was the only option for him."
NCAA rules imply that a player can apply for a medical redshirt if the said player had not played in 30 percent of the snaps early in the season. Because Borland has only played one full game and just a few snaps of a second, he would be eligible for the medical hardship.
Borland opened the season raring to go after missing the entirety of spring camp after undergoing shoulder surgery. He started at UNLV, but re-aggravated the injury midway through the game.
Then, after sitting out the following week against San Jose State, Borland aggravated the same shoulder early in the game against the Sun Devils, this time knocking him out for the remainder of the season.
Blake Sorensen, a fifth year senior will take over the starting job for Borland. Redshirt freshman A.J. Fenton will back Sorensen up on the depth chart.
As a true freshman, Borland played in all 13 games a season ago, including six starts. He forced five fumbles and landed on three fumble recoveries. His explosive pass attack and stunning ability to get into the backfield helped him come away with 10.5 tackles for loss (third on the team) and five sacks.
For his play on the field, Borland earned first-team Freshman All-American selection by the Sporting News and Football Writers Association of America. Entering 2010, Borland was a hot commodity on many major award lists, including the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, Butkus Award, Rotary Lombardi Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy.