Wisconsin linebacker Jack Cichy out for season with torn pectoral
MADISON, Wis. (AP) Linebacker Jack Cichy, the leading tackler for No. 11 Wisconsin, will miss the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle.
The injury is the latest setback for a defense that has weathered adversity to remain one of the stingiest units in the country.
The Badgers (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) are ranked fourth in the country in scoring defense (14.3 points per game) and ninth in total defense (300.6 yards). They play No. 7 Nebraska on Saturday night at Camp Randall Stadium.
Cichy got hurt in the first half of Wisconsin's 17-9 win on Saturday over Iowa. Cichy hit the ground while sliding out of bounds after tackling Iowa running back Akrum Wadley following an 11-yard gain to the Wisconsin 29 with 5 seconds left.
He returned to play in the second half before leaving for good in the fourth quarter. Cichy, who wore a wrap around his shoulder and left chest after the injury, had trouble lunging for ball carriers and wrapping up for tackles.
''He didn't hurt it worse by (playing in the second half), I do know that,'' coach Paul Chryst said.
Linebacker Vince Biegel, who just returned from a foot injury, said Cichy couldn't lift his left arm after the game.
Cichy finishes the season with 60 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks. He's the second starting linebacker to get knocked out for the season for the Badgers, after Chris Orr got hurt in the season opener against LSU.
''Of course you're going to miss them, missing two starters and two emotional guys, leaders of your team,'' Chryst said. ''That's also an opportunity for others to step up.''