MADISON - Senior defensive end David Gilbert will not play for the Badgers during his senior season after suffering another injury to his right foot, according to a release from the Wisconsin athletic department.
Gilbert was primed to start as a hybrid defensive end and outside linebacker for the Badgers in their new 3-4 defense, but Gilbert said he felt it was time to let his injuries fully heal.
"This was a difficult decision for me but I have had multiple injuries and surgeries on my foot and feel that no longer playing at UW is the best decision for me," Gilbert said in a statement. "I have been dealing with pain in my foot since the injury first occurred and I just need to give it time to fully heal."
Gilbert's struggles with foot injuries date back to the 2011 season, where he played in four games but was forced to redshirt after injuring his foot during practice. He played in 14 games for the Badgers last season, but injured his foot again before spring break as the Badgers were going through their spring practices.
Head coach Gary Andersen never got to coach Gilbert in a game, but said they will support Gilbert as he finishes his degree.
"David's decision was part of an on-going discussion we have had for a number of weeks," head coach Gary Andersen said in the release. "I would have loved the opportunity to coach David but we always want to do what's in the best interests of the young man. He needs a year to recover from his injuries and focus on graduating. It is always tough when a young man's college career comes to an end due to an injury but David knows we are here to support him in any way necessary."
The wording of the release suggests that Gilbert could attempt to continue his football career professionally once he feels his foot has fully healed. This would have been Gilbert's final season of eligibility at the college level.
Gilbert tallied 8.5 total sacks in his career at Wisconsin out of 14.5 tackles for loss, and played in 42 total games for the Badgers. He broke on to the scene as a true freshman during the 2009 season, after signing with the Badgers out of Coral Springs, Fla., as a four-star recruit.
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