One player was just getting going, another was hoping to finally stay healthy. Unfortunately neither will be seen again in 2017, as the Badgers announced sophomore safety Patrick Johnson II and running back Taiwan Deal will both miss the reminder of the 2017 season.
Deal looked like he was working his way back after offseason ankle surgery. Instead, Deal’s 2017 season never really got off the ground.
He’s been working hard to come back, but that won’t happen as head coach Paul Chryst announced Deal will undergo a second surgery on his ankle.
“We were starting to feel better and better. Once he pushed himself, he had about two days where he was going hard, that’s when he had a big setback,” Chryst said Monday.
“It was fine when we were going 70 percent, 75, but something still wasn’t right for him. He pushed it to a point where we gotta take a look at it again.”
Johnson has been out for a few weeks now, but played in four games so far this year. He played in 13 games last season, mostly on special teams, and made three tackles.
Deal’s injury seems to be the most troubling long-term, as Deal hasn’t been able to keep that ankle healthy seemingly from the minute he stepped on campus. He came in to 2017 having put up 667 yards and six touchdowns on 149 career carries to date.
We’ll see what this means for his long-term future, but he may be able to get this season back with a medical hardship if he wishes to continue to play the game.