Kristen Finstad

Wisconsin Expects Chris Borland To Return This Week

Created on Oct. 29, 2013 3:29 PM EST

The Badgers' second bye of the season came at a great time for linebacker Chris Borland. 

Borland missed the final three quarters of Wisconsin's 56-32 win over Illinois with a hamstring injury. 

Head coach Gary Andersen expects Borland to play this weekend at Iowa but isn't sure how much practicing he can do during the week.

"We'll see (about practice) when we get him out there," Andersen said, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. "I expect him to play, yes. Practice, we'll be careful. We'll continually watch him and monitor him as it goes. Our trainers have done a good job getting him to this point.

"If you single out Chris, missing a Big Ten game is big for Chris. He basically missed the Illinois game already. He doesn't want that to happen, neither do we."

The Badgers' 35-6 win over Northwestern on Oct. 12 was the team's sixth regular-season win following a bye week, so Wisconsin is optimistic about the Iowa game. 

"For him as a person and a kid, it's great to have the bye when it came," Andersen said. "For our football team, we tried to take advantage of it and get our legs back underneath us as much as possible."

Borland leads the team in tackles with 57, is tied for second in sacks (two) and third in tackles for a loss (three). As of Monday, he is also one of 12 semifinalists for the 2013 Butkus Award, which is given to the nation's top linebacker of the year.

Wisconsin will face Iowa (5-3, 2-2) this weekend for the first time since its 31-30 win at Iowa in 2010.

"Iowa is a very stiff challenge, two very similar identities of what they want to get done on the offensive side of the football," Andersen said. "Obviously, both want to run the ball, play-action is a big part of the throw game on both sides. Defenses are both physical, very salty kids on both sides that love the game of football." 

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