Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave's season ended when he suffered a broken collarbone on Oct. 27 against Michigan State. Or did it?
Stave was thought to be lost for the year with that injury, but he practiced with the Badgers on a limited basis this past weekend as the team began preparations for the Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio.
According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Stave participated in individual drills and 7-on-7 passing drills on Sunday and showed no ill effects on his throws. He had thrown on the sidelines with trainers on Saturday.
Stave told the paper that his recovery, originally pegged at eight weeks, was ahead of schedule. Does that mean he could play in the Jan. 1 game against Stanford?
"You know, we'll see," he said. "We'll see how it continues to heal."
Curt Phillips still is the starting quarterback for Wisconsin. The fifth-year senior is 2-2 as a starter, having completed 55.4 percent of his passes for 457 yards, with four touchdowns and an interception.
Stave, a redshirt freshman, was 4-2 as a starter, completing 59.3 percent of his passes for 1,104 yards, with six touchdowns and three picks. Stave is viewed as the better passer of the two, and if nothing else, his possible availability gives Wisconsin another option against Stanford. The Cardinal have the No. 3 rushing defense in the FBS but are just 82nd versus the pass.
It seems highly unlikely the coaches would switch starting quarterbacks at this point. However, if Stave continues to progress, the coaches might want to give him a couple series in the Rose Bowl to see what he can do.
Stave also might be prepared in case the Badgers fall behind and have to throw more.
Either scenario gives Stanford’s defense something else to think about leading up to the game.
Stave was noncommittal about his readiness for the game.