For Wisconsin fans calling for Joel Stave after Tanner McEvoy's poor performance in the season opener against LSU, that option may have been available, according to a release Tuesday.
Head coach Gary Andersen communicated that Stave, who started all 13 games in 2013 but was named the backup at quarterback this fall, has an injured right throwing shoulder. The redshirt junior was knocked out of the bowl game against South Carolina on Jan. 1 and missed all of spring camp with a shoulder injury.
"Joel has been dealing with some issues with his throwing shoulder for the last couple of weeks and we have come to a decision, after talking with Joel, that the best thing for him right now is to shut it down and give him some rest," Andersen said in the release.
"It was a tough decision because Joel is a great competitor and has a tremendous desire to help this team. We will continue to monitor his progress but we're not putting a timetable on his return at this time."
Andersen said Stave showed signs of the injury during fall camp.
"Maybe the second scrimmage, around that timeframe, a little bit before that started to see some scenarios where Joel didn't feel completely comfortable," Andersen said Tuesday. "It just has kind of deteriorated to the point where, again, it's just important that we put Joel first in the situation and not put the University of Wisconsin first."
McEvoy, who started his first game for the Badgers last Saturday, completed just 8 of 24 passes for 50 yards with two interceptions during a 28-24 loss to LSU.
Redshirt sophomore Bart Houston, a former four-star prospect, is now the No. 2 quarterback followed by true freshman D.J. Gillins.
"Bart has a strong arm, he's waited for his time to get into this position," Andersen said Tuesday. "I'm sure he'll be very excited about the opportunity to get in there and take some reps with the No. 1 or No. 2 offense, and he'll get himself prepared to go."
Watt has knee injury
In the same release Andersen announced that redshirt freshman T.J. Watt is dealing with an injured right knee.
"T.J. suffered a right knee injury during camp which required surgery," Andersen said. "He will miss an extended amount of time but we hope to have him back on the practice field at some point during the conference season.