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Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Joel Stave shutdown clarified

By Adam Rittenberg
ESPN.com

Wisconsin junior quarterback Joel Stave is out indefinitely, but not because he re-injured his throwing shoulder, as the team had stated earlier Tuesday.

Coach Gary Andersen and Stave spoke to reporters Tuesday evening to clarify a statement earlier in the day that an injury was sidelining Stave indefinitely.

Stave, who started 19 games the past two seasons, told reporters after Tuesday's practice that his right shoulder is structurally fine and he feels no pain when throwing the ball. But he hasn't been comfortable with his throws for several weeks.

"Right now, my arm is just not working the way I'd like it to," he said. "I don't know what it is. ... I've thrown how many thousands of balls in my life. I know when it hurts and when it doesn't. It just isn't right."

In a statement issued earlier Tuesday, Badgers coach Gary Andersen said Stave would miss time because of injury. It said Stave had been dealing with "some issues with his throwing shoulder for the last couple of weeks," and after consulting with Stave, they had decided "the best thing for him right now is to shut it down and give him some rest."

"It was a tough decision because Joel is a great competitor and has a tremendous desire to help this team," Anderson added. "We will continue to monitor his progress, but we're not putting a timetable on his return at this time."

Stave injured his shoulder in the Capital One Bowl in January and missed spring practice before returning to compete for the starting job during preseason camp.

But Tuesday night, Andersen said he shouldn't have cited an "injury" in the news release. 

"Is he injured? No," Andersen said. "Is he ready to play right now? No."

Stave continues to participate in practice but is not part of the game-planning process.

Tanner McEvoy started at quarterback for Wisconsin and played all of Saturday's 28-24 loss to No. 13 LSU in Houston. Although Stave was on the sideline, sophomore Bart Houston served as the team's backup quarterback for the game, Andersen said.

Andersen wanted to put out a news release in the event McEvoy had to be replaced in upcoming games.

"There's been no re-injury for Joel whatsoever," Andersen said after Tuesday's practice. "When he gets himself to the point where he's ready to play, he'll play."

Stave told reporters if needed, he would be ready to play. But the throwing issue cropped up in the past week or so.

"On some level, I'm a perfectionist," he said. "A lot of quarterbacks are. This game is so incredibly important to me that when I maybe miss a throw or something, I start to think, 'What can I do to fix it?' Sometimes I may overthink things."

Stave is 13-6 as Wisconsin's starter and ranks 10th on the school's all-time passing list with 3,598 career yards.

"It's just a matter of getting comfortable and feeling like the ball's coming out the way it should," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.