If the University of Wisconsin football team had to play a game today, redshirt freshman Joe Brennan would be the backup quarterback behind senior Russell Wilson.
The question now is whether that scenario will continue throughout much of the season.
There is legitimate concern around the program concerning the status of sophomore quarterback Jon Budmayr, who is scheduled to see a nerve specialist on Thursday due to continued numbness in two fingers on his throwing hand.
Budmayr has been unable to throw since Aug. 9. The original problem was swelling in his right elbow caused by a ruptured bursa sac. But after the swelling subsided, the numbness remained.
UW coach Bret Bielema said after practice on Tuesday he is still not sure a definitive answer will come after seeing the specialist.
"They're doing another test," Bielema said. "I don't know if we'll get the exact word on, A, how long, or B, the exact cause of it. I think they're honing in more to the specifics of what could be causing it and what actions we could take."
The worst-case scenario would be surgery, which would be season-ending, on the ulnar nerve.
"Basically, there's something going on with the ulnar nerve," Budmayr told UWBadgers.com. "At the beginning, the swelling was causing the irritation. We got the swelling out but it's still causing a problem."
The only other healthy quarterbacks behind Brennan are walk-ons: freshman Joel Stave and fifth-year senior Nate Tice, who gets limited work in practice.
The plan is still to redshirt Stave, but Bielema won't hesitate to use him if needed. Bielema also said there might be limited situations where Tice could be a short-term option if something happened to Wilson.
"Depending how the game is and where the game is Nate can get you in and out of some situations," Bielema said. "Joey Brennan and Joel Stave, one of the benefits to Jon's bad situation is they've gotten a lot of quality reps and have improved a great deal. I'm really excited about both of them."
When offensive coordinator Paul Chryst was asked about his level of concern, he said, "There's a big level, for (Budmayr). Hopefully, Thursday there is something (answered). Right now, the hard part is the uncertainty. "