Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst said Monday that quarterback Alex Hornibrook remained in concussion protocol, leaving his playing status for Saturday's game against No. 21 Penn State up in the air.
Hornibrook, a junior from West Chester who played at Malvern Prep, left Saturday's 31-17 victory over Rutgers with a head injury. He missed the Oct. 27 game against Northwestern because of a concussion.
When asked at his weekly news conference whether he'd be extra cautious about playing Hornibrook this week, Chryst said he would rely on the team's medical people.
"I think what's helpful to us, we've got a really good medical staff," he said. "They're going to do everything they can to make sure, whether it's concussion protocol or with another injury, that [a player] is ready to go."
If Hornibrook is unable to play, the Badgers (6-3, 4-2 Big Ten) will go with sophomore Jack Coan, who went 5-for-7 for 64 yards and a touchdown against Rutgers.
"I thought he handled himself well," Chryst said. "He knew what we were doing, and, when you get a chance to watch it, he certainly had a good feel for the game. But I liked what he did.
"Our whole job is, whoever's at quarterback, to help them play to the best of their ability. What's a little bit unique about the quarterback spot, it's how can your play help others around you. I liked the way that Jack has prepared all year long, really, So if Alex can't go, he'll certainly be ready."
Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley was hobbled in Saturday's 42-7 loss to Michigan by a knee injury he suffered the week before against Iowa. Chryst said it's more of a question of preparing for the Lions offense instead of just for McSorley or backup Tommy Stevens.
"You certainly prepare for McSorley," he said. "You talk about a heck of a quarterback. I love the way that he plays the game and competes.
"You've had a chance to see others, but you're going to plan for their offense. Our defense has got to plan to stop their offense and be sure that we know all the pieces of it, and you make sure your players are prepared. Every player's different, but it's still the same offense and how they choose to attack it."
The Badgers feature sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor, who starred at Salem (N.J.) High School. Coming off a 208-yard, three-touchdown day against Rutgers, Taylor leads the nation in rushing with 1,363 yards.