REPORT: Vince Biegel out 2-4 weeks following foot surgery

Georgia State v Wisconsin

The M-A-S-H Unit continues to grow for the 2016 Wisconsin Badgers, and this time it is a massive loss on the eve of a matchup with undefeated Michigan in Ann Arbor this weekend.

Per Jesse Temple of, the Badgers are going to be without star outside linebacker Vince Biegel for the next 2-4 weeks following surgery on his cracked foot.

Vince’s dad told Temple that the choice was simple — surgery now and miss 2-4 weeks or run the risk of the crack becoming a full break and miss up to 8 weeks of action.

“He’s been playing on it for the last couple weeks, and it was bothering him a little bit,” Rocky Biegel said. “He had X-rays last night and confirmed it was cracked. He either plays on it, and then if he breaks it, then he’s going to be out for eight weeks. Either way, he’s got to have surgery on it. So he can keep playing until it breaks or try to go through the season with it and try to fix it. At any time, he could break it all the way through. It was just a crack and they’re just putting a screw in it. It’s a very, very minor crack.”

Clearly the senior linebacker made his choice and will be out the next 2-4 weeks.

It’s just another crazy blow to a defense that has caught the attention of the national college football scene. Biegel is the latest loss to a group already without starting inside linebacker Chris Orr (torn ACL) and nickelback Natrell Jamerson (still out with a broken leg).

This news also came on the same day that the Badgers announced season-ending back surgery for junior kicker Rafael Gaglianone.

As for the immediate impact on the Badgers, the positive news is that Wisconsin is completely loaded at linebacker and seems to be in plug-and-play mode already.

We saw that in the season opener, with UW already down starter T.J. Edwards going in to the game and losing Chris Orr on the first play from scrimmage. In stepped Ryan Connelly next to Jack Cichy, and Connelly had himself a memorable day.

It will be interesting to see how the Badgers handle the loss of Biegel, as he has been a mainstay for the Badgers defense this season. Redshirt freshman Zack Baun was listed as the No. 2 outside linebacker behind Biegel on the depth chart this week, but Wisconsin has options.

Those options could include flipping starter T.J. Watt in to Biegel’s position and moving Jack Cichy to the opposite spot where he shined in the Holiday Bowl win over USC. It would also mean moving Ryan Connelly up to starter at inside linebacker.

Or, Wisconsin could simply continue to trust the “next man up” mentality that has worked out well to this point and get Baun his first career start on the big stage at the Big House.

Baun has played in all four games this season behind Biegel, racking up six tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

While he may not be a household name, it does appear that Baun has some big time talent in him and may benefit in the long run with this type of experience.

There’s also fellow second-team outside linebacker Garrett Dooley, who has six tackles to his name as well this season.

What may be missing most is the leadership of Biegel, who has 46 career starts to his name and is the heartbeat of this Badgers defense in 2016. It will be interesting to see who steps up in to that vacuum over the next few weeks.

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