UW Health Sports Medicine 

Spring practice report No. 7

The Badgers practiced outside again on Tuesday for 24 periods, their seventh practice of the spring. They have just one more practice, Thursday, before Spring Break starts on Saturday.

Watch highlights from practice as well as head coach Bret Bielema's post-practice interview

Badger fans and anyone who has watched Wisconsin football regularly the last couple of years is well versed in the numerous reverses that are a staple of UW's running game. They were on full display during the middle of practice when the Badgers went 11-on-11.

In the span of about five plays, UW ran the tight end around with Lance Kendricks that was so successful against Purdue last year then ran successive fly sweeps with wide receivers David Gilreath and Isaac Anderson. Later in the period, Gilreath was the recipient of another fly sweep handoff. The period was reminiscent to the Badgers win at Indiana in 2008 (at least according to one astute media member in attendance).

toon.jpgRedundant, again
News flash - Nick Toon makes big catches. These spring practice reports sometimes seem like a broken record. During the parts of practice that I really paid attention to (two hours is a long time to concentrate, plus I have to take all those great photos), there were three main periods that caught my eye, red zone skelly, 11-on-11 red zone and, for the first time this spring, 11-on-11 2-minute drill. Toon came up big in all three phases.

In the beginning of red zone skelly, Toon made a leaping catch in the back of the end zone for a score. On the final play of the period, he made another TD grab, tip toeing the same sideline.

When the full team got together for red zone, Toon again hauled in a TD then caught a crossing route that very well may have gotten into the end zone (there was no tackling during practice today).

Toon saved his best for last, however. During the 2-minute drill, the No. 1 offense drove down to the four-yard line with six seconds left on the clock. Toon contributed two of the catches to get them down there while RB Zach Brown took a dump off and shook a linebacker for a big gain on 3rd-and-10.

On the final play of the drive, QB Scott Tolzien looked for Toon on a fade in the right side of the end zone. Toon outjumped FS Aaron Henry and the two fell to the ground with Toon cluthing the ball and Henry's arm. TD Badgers!

Practice No. 7 Photo Gallery

Defense does not rest
That's not to say UW's defense wasn't heard from during practice. In the red zone skelly period, Henry and CB Devin Smith combined to break up what looked like a TD pass to RB Bradie Ewing out of the backfield. Henry also recorded an interception at the goal line during the 11-on-11 red zone period, as Tolzien rolled to his right and tried to squeeze a pass into Toon.

The No. 2 defense was also able to stop the No. 2 offense in the 2-minute drill. QB Jon Budmayr and WR Jared Abbrederis, who hooked up on a long pass during skelly, nearly ended the 2-minute drill on the first play but another bomb from Budmayr to Abbrederis just went off his fingertips. The offense was able to drive inside the 25-yard line but after a few near misses, time ran out.     

Injury update
Head coach Bret Bielema said that QB Curt Phillips suffered a torn ACL during Saturday's scrimmage.

"Right now we're just waiting for the swelling to go down and he'll have surgery here in the next couple of weeks," Bielema said after practice. "Obviously disappointed for him but all indications are that he'll come back and be able to rehab. There is probably a potential hope for the season next year, but really that's up in the air. Every knee injury comes about a little bit differently."

Coach Bielema also said that OL Gabe Carimi, OL John Moffitt and DL Brendan Kelly all appear to be on track to join practice following spring break. TE Brian Wozniak strained his MCL on Saturday and Bielema hopes to have him back after spring break, possibly for the last week of practice.