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Graham Mertz injury: Status of Wisconsin quarterback for game vs. Illinois

The QB took a brutal hit against Michigan.

Graham Mertz of the Wisconsin Badgers looks to pass against the Michigan Wolverines at Camp Randall Stadium on October 02, 2021 in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

Wisconsin Badgers starting quarterback Graham Mertz is listed as “questionable” this week ahead of UW’s game against Illinois, but he appears on track to get the start on Saturday afternoon.

Head coach Paul Chryst told reporters Mertz was able to practice this week, and he’s “expecting to have everyone.”

Mertz was injured after this hit, and didn’t return to last Saturday’s game against Michigan.

Michigan won 38-17, with Chase Wolf replacing Mertz after the injury. Wolf was 3-8 for 52 yards with a touchdown and an interception the rest of the way. Mertz finished 8-15 for 115 yards and a touchdown.

Things don’t get any easier for 1-3 Wisconsin, and while they’ll be favored against Illinois, there are still dates with No. 3 Iowa, Army, and Rutgers the rest of the way. Without some solid quarterback play, we could be looking at a season without a bowl game for Wisco for the first time since 2001 under Barry Alvarez.

Also starting TE Jake Ferguson is questionable as well. Ferguson has 15 catches for 108 yards so far in his senior season, and Chryst mentioned he has practiced this week as well.

The Badgers are 11-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook over Illinois, with the point total set at 42. UW is -410 on the moneyline, making Illinois a +310 underdog.