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How Wisconsin Football Alumni Fared in Week 1 of the Preseason

Here’s a look at how former Wisconsin Badgers alumni performed in week 1 of the NFL preseason.



Former Wisconsin football player, Joe Tippmann
Aug 3, 2023; Canton, Ohio, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) takes the snap from center Joe Tippmann (66) against the Cleveland Browns during the first half at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin football is still weeks away from opening their season against Buffalo on September 2. But we can still get our fix by watching former Badgers play in some NFL preseason action.

There are 33 Wisconsin alumni currently on an NFL roster. Many have spots locked in, but others need to compete to earn a spot on their respective team. Because of that, there were plenty of Badgers in action during the first week of preseason football.

Let’s take a look at how the former Badgers performed.

How Wisconsin football players performed in Week 1 of the NFL Preseason

It’s pretty normal for starters and especially superstars to play barely, if at all, during the preseason. Since many former Wisconsin football players like Russell Wilson and T.J. Watt already have a spot locked up, they didn’t play a whole lot or at all.

But on the other hand, we did get to see more than a few Badgers line up over the weekend.

Hall of Fame Game – Thursday, August 3

Before Week 1 of the preseason even started, we had the Hall of Fame game between the Browns and the Jets. There were two former Wisconsin football players in this game, both on the Jets.

WR Alex Erickson (NYJ) – Signed on with the Jets at the start of camp. In his Jets debut, he had one reception on two targets for 19 yards. Erickson, who has had success in the past as a return man at previous spots, also produced on special teams. He returned two punts for 45 yards, one of which went for 36 yards.

OL Joe Tipmann (NYJ) – Saw his first NFL action in this game. The second-round pick played extremely well. He played in 50+ snaps including 21 pass blocking snaps. He didn’t give one pressure up. Pretty solid start for the rookie center.

Wisconsin football players in Week 1 of the preseason – Thursday, August 10

Patriots vs. Texans

OL Michael Deiter (HOU) – 45 offensive snaps at both center (33) and guard (12). He had one penalty and according to PFF had an overall grade of 46.2 (below average).

OL Tyler Beach (HOU) – 19 offensive snaps at guard (6) and right tackle (13). PFF gave him an overall grade of 59.6 (average). He did, however, have a pass-blocking grade of 70.3 (above average).

RB Dare Ogunbowale (HOU) – Currently fourth on the depth chart, Ogunbowale is battling for the third running back spot on the roster. He got five carries for 18 yards in his 2023 preseason debut.

Wisconsin football players in Week 1 of the preseason – Friday, August 11

Falcons vs. Dolphins

FB Alec Ingold (MIA) – Did not play.

LB Andrew Van Ginkel (MIA) – Did not play.

Steelers vs. Buccaneers

LB T.J. Watt (PIT) – Did not play.

LB Nick Herbig (PIT) – three tackles, 1.5 sacks, and one quarterback hit. All his production came in the second half of the game. According to PFF, Herbig had an overall grade of 89.8 (good). Although it’s just preseason, it’s a great start for the rookie pass rusher.

DL Isaiahh Loudermilk (PIT) – Three tackles, one tackle for a loss. Loudermilk got the start because the Steelers held Cameron Heyward out.

DL Keeanu Benton (PIT) – Like Herbig, Benton had a great start in his opening preseason game. He tallied three tackles, one of which was for a loss. As is the case with most nose tackles, stats don’t tell the whole story. He created a lot of pressure from the interior of Pittsburgh’s defensive line.

Commanders vs. Browns

CB Rachad Wildgoose (WAS) – Wildgoose tallied five tackles for the Commanders. He didn’t grade out too well, finishing with a 45.5 (poor) grade, per PFF. He gave up four receptions on six targets and gave up a quarterback passer rating of 85.4 when targeted.

Broncos vs. Cardinals

QB Russell Wilson (DEN) – Wilson got a lot more playing time than I thought he would have. Having a new coach and offense takes some time to adjust to. It was a rough start to the game. Wilson had defenders in the backfield constantly. But in his final drive of the game, he led the Broncos down the field for a score. He finished the game 7/13 for 93 yards and a touchdown.

DL Matt Henningsen (DEN) – Henningsen got the start for the Broncos. He had three tackles and 0.5 sacks on 28 snaps. He graded out pretty well too. PFF gave him a 66.1 (above average) grade.

CB Faion Hicks (DEN) – Hicks has been having a good camp so far and he showed it on Friday night. He played in 27 snaps and was targeted four times, giving up two receptions for just nine yards. He received a coverage grade of 76.9 and an overall grade of 75.9 (both above average).

RB Corey Clement (ARI) – Clement got the start and was getting a good amount of run with the Cardinals’ offense before he exited the game with an injury. He finished the game with six carries for 15 yards and added three receptions for another 13 yards.

Jonathan Taylor; Wisconsin Football

Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin football players in Week 1 of the preseason – Saturday, August 12

Colts vs. Bills

RB Jonathan Taylor (IND) – Did not play.

OL David Edwards (BUF) – Played in 17 snaps, all at left guard with the second team offensive line. PFF graded him his game out at a 64.7 (average).

Titans vs. Bears

LB Jack Sanborn (CHI) – Started the game at inside linebacker. He played just a few possessions, totaling just 12 snaps in the game. He had one tackle.

LB T.J. Edwards (CHI) – Like Sanborn, the newly-acquired Edwards ran with the starters and played just a couple of possessions. He also had one tackle in 12 snaps.

Jets vs. Panthers

OL Joe Tippmann (NYJ) – Tippman continues to get extensive playing time this preseason. He logged 53 snaps against the Panthers on Saturday. PFF gave him an overall grade of 46.7 (poor), but his pass blocking was still 72.9 (above average). He has allowed just one pressure through two games.

WR Alex Erickson (NYJ) – Erickson caught two passes for 17 yards on two targets.

Jaguars vs. Cowboys

WR Kendric Pryor (JAX) – Pryor recorded one reception on two targets for 20 yards.

OL Cole Van Lanen (JAX) – Van Lanen played in 29 offensive snaps. He received an 85.7 (good) grade from PFF, including a 91.8 (elite) grade in pass blocking.

OL Tyler Biadasz (DAL) – Did not play.

TE Jake Ferguson (DAL) – Ferguson had three catches for 38 yards, including a nice 26-yard reception.

Eagles vs. Ravens

RB Melvin Gordon (BAL) – Gordon, who is trying to catch on with the Ravens, had six carries for 16 yards. He also added one reception for nine yards.

OL Kevin Zeitler (BAL) – Did not play.

Chargers vs. Rams

OL Logan Bruss (LAR) – Bruss had a rough day. He played 56 snaps and had one penalty and allowed a sack. His run blocking was good, but received an 18.8 (poor) grade on his pass blocking.

OL Rob Havenstein (LAR) – Did not play.

Wisconsin Football inside linebacker Leo Chenal

Nov 13, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Leo Chenal (54) celebrates after a sack during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin football players in Week 1 of the preseason – Sunday, August 13

Chiefs vs. Saints

LB Leo Chenal (KC) – Chenal had three tackles for the Chiefs.

OL Ryan Ramczyk (NO) – Started for the Saints with the first-team offense.

LB Zack Baun (NO) – Baun recorded three tackles including a sack.

LB Ryan Connelly (NO) – Connelly led the Saints in tackles, tallying five takedowns and a pass defended.

49ers vs. Raiders

TE Troy Fumagalli (SF) – Fumagalli, making his return after an absence from the NFL, caught two passes on Sunday, including a 22-yard reception.

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Christian Borman was born and raised in Wisconsin and covers the Badgers football and basketball programs, plus some recruiting for He previously covered the Wisconsin Badgers for years as the site expert for Badger of Honor of the Fansided Network.