Loudermilk Could See Snaps Saturday

Loudermilk Could See Snaps Saturday

Football

Loudermilk Could See Snaps Saturday

MADISON, Wis. – After undergoing offseason knee surgery, defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk was hoping to start contributing by the beginning of conference play in late September.

It appears that Loudermilk is ahead of that goal.

Originally not expected to be available until the end of the month, the redshirt sophomore was not listed on the team’s distributed injury report Monday in advance of Saturday’s home game against New Mexico (1-0). He was not listed on the team’s two-deep depth chart, however, as Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst said during his weekly media conference he wanted to see how the redshirt sophomore handled the week’s workload.

“He has been able to practice some,” Chryst said. “As the week progresses, our intentions are, all right, let’s go and see where he is at. Probably at the end of the week, if he is doing more … how does he respond? So tomorrow he will do a lot.”

The 6-foot-7, 300-pound Loudermilk missed three games because of injury last season but finished with 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks in a reserve role behind seniors Alec James, Chikwe Obasih and Conor Sheehy. Loudermilk underwent surgery on his left knee in May.

UW’s starting defensive end in the opener featured redshirt freshmen Kayden Lyles and Matt Henningsen at end. Henningsen had four tackles and Lyles had two. More importantly, the duo occupied blockers to free up the linebackers.

Inside linebacker T.J. Edwards had seven tackles, tied for the team lead, and Zack Baun and Ryan Connelly added five apiece.

In addition to Loudermilk, senior tight end Zander Neuville is listed as questionable to play against the Lobos. Neuville tore his ACL against Minnesota last season and suffered another right leg injury during fall camp. Neuville’s return will help the unit considering sophomore tight end Luke Benzschawel is out this week with a right leg injury and will likely miss a couple games, according to Chryst.

“He’s going to have to get back into playing shape and, for lack of a better term, knock some rust off,” Chryst said of Neuville. “But I love the way that he’s prepared. It’s a different offseason for him. He invested a lot into it, and I know he’s chomping at the bit to get out there. I think that alone will be uplifting, not just to him but to our guys.”

Inside linebacker Mike Maskalunas (right leg), running back Bradrick Shaw (left leg) and defensive end Kraig Howe (right leg) joined Benzschawel on Monday’s injury report as players who are expected to miss Saturday’s game.

Safety Reggie Pearson (left leg) and kicker/punter P.J. Rosowski (right leg) are listed as questionable.

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