University of Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema is not ready to declare his team a winner over the flu, although it appears the worst is behind the Badgers.
"I think so. I hope so," Bielema said Thursday. "There's always the element of surprise. Somebody could pop up Friday or Saturday morning. (Thursday) morning, we kind of sat on eggshells."
Starting left guard Jake Bscherer, a junior, was one of two players who came down with the flu since Wednesday. The other was an unnamed scout-team player.
Bscherer missed practice Thursday, but Bielema expects him to be ready for Saturday's game against Fresno State at Camp Randall Stadium.
"He started getting a little sick (Wednesday) afternoon," Bielema said. "Actually, in the morning he was fine, and then a couple hours out from meetings he started to get some of the symptoms. We thought he might be able to go (Thursday) but just felt it was better to rest him and get him out here for (Friday)."
To make up for lost practice time on Tuesday - the day the Badgers were hardest hit by the flu epidemic that began to affect players as early as late last week - UW had longer practices than normal on Wednesday and Thursday. Bielema said the Badgers will also get in more reps than usual during today's walk-through practice.
"One of the things we had to do as coaches was adapt," Bielema said. "We really didn't modify or take away team reps."
Moffitt unlikely to play
Bielema said junior center John Moffitt likely will miss his second consecutive game.
Moffitt injured a chest muscle while lifting weights prior to the start of preseason training camp last month. He sat out much of camp and has been progressing slowly the last two weeks.
"He practiced (Wednesday), he practiced again (Thursday)," Bielema said of Moffitt, who was replaced in the starting lineup by true freshman Travis Frederick.
"But they're a little bit worried about him being able to protect himself. I think he functionally could do what we asked him to do, but just to make sure that he doesn't put himself in position that he injures it or re-aggravates it. We'll probably sit him yet this week and go into next week."
Moffitt said earlier this week he's getting anxious to return to the lineup.
"It's not my call," he said. "I'd like to go. But I appreciate the way the coaching staff on down has been doing it the right way with how to handle it. From my perspective, it feels great."
Bielema said redshirt freshman defensive end Brendan Kelly (groin), who missed last week's game, practiced the last two days. Sophomore defensive end Louis Nzegwu (shoulder), who also sat out last week, could be available Saturday "for a pure emergency situation," Bielema said. ... True freshman defensive end David Gilbert will make his debut against Fresno State. "He'll start on two special teams units," Bielema said. "He'll be in there on normal down-and-distance (at defensive end) as well as third down."