MADISON, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 17: Braelon Allen #0 of the Wisconsin Badgers scores on a 39-yard touchdown run in the first quarter against the New Mexico State Aggies at Camp Randall Stadium on September 17, 2022 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

Jim Leonhard provides injury update on Braelon Allen, plan to manage workload

Jim Leonhard provides injury update on Braelon Allen, plan to manage workload

Interim head coach Jim Leonhard and the Wisconsin Badgers (6-5, 4-4 Big Ten) snuck past the Nebraska Cornhuskers 15-14 on the road Saturday afternoon behind a dominant rushing attack.

The three-headed monster of Braelon Allen, Chez Mellusi, and Isaac Guerendo led the way, carrying the ball 52 times for 239 yards. UW won the time-of-possession battle by nearly 14 minutes.

A word from Wisconsin Badgers head coach, Jim Leonhard

MADISON, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 02: Wisconsin defensive coach Jim Leonhard looks on in the fourth quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Camp Randall Stadium on October 02, 2021 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

After the game, coach Leonhard acknowledged that Allen, his star tailback, has been nursing a left shoulder injury and discussed a plan to manage his workload moving forward.

“We have to be smart with him. We know what he’s going through. If he’s banged up it’s probably not getting better until this thing ends off, so trying to be smart. Having Chez back will be a huge help,” Leonard told reporters.

“Because he’s a warrior, he wants to play, he wants every touch, he doesn’t want to come off the field. Just proud of him, of what he’s going through, but we have to continue to be smart with how we use him, when we use him. And I think that affects how he finishes runs which, for a big back, his style of play, the way he finishes, the punishing style that he has, we want him to do that, but he’s only got so many hits in that body every week right now.”

Thus far, the Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin native has carried the ball 207 times for 1,126 yards (5.4 YPC) and 10 touchdowns. Additionally, he has a career-high 11 catches for 104 yards receiving.

UW is fortunate to have two capable backs behind Allen in Chez Mellusi, who just returned from injury, and Isaac Guerendo, both of which can lighten his workload.

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