Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz questionable for Illinois game

MADISON, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 02: Graham Mertz #5 of the Wisconsin Badgers looks to pass against the Michigan Wolverines at Camp Randall Stadium on October 02, 2021 in Madison, Wisconsin. Michigan defeated Wisconsin 38-17. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty

Wisconsin is listing quarterback Graham Mertz as questionable for Saturday's game at Illinois after a chest injury knocked him out of the weekend loss to Michigan.

Mertz didn’t return to the Michigan game after Daxton Hill sacked him early in the third quarter of the Wolverines' 38-17 triumph. Mertz expressed optimism Monday that he'd be able to play against Illinois (2-4, 1-2 Big Ten).

"I was out there today," Mertz said after practice. "I’ll just go with it day by day."

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Mertz was taken to the hospital for evaluation after his injury and got released later Saturday. Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said all the test results were encouraging.

"I feel all right," Mertz said. "I’m just kind of taking it day by day, getting treatment and trying to get better every day."

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Wisconsin (1-3, 0-2) is trying to recover from its worst start since 1990 as the Badgers prepare to face one of their former head coaches for the first time in program history. Illinois coach Bret Bielema coached Wisconsin from 2006-12 before leaving for Arkansas.

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