Wisconsin loses its leading receiver for the year, and it could be a playoff problem

If Wisconsin is going to win the Big Ten and get to the College Football Playoff, it will have to do so without its leading receiver.

Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst announced that wide receiver Quintez Cephus will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his right leg.

"For every player that misses time, you feel bad for them," Chryst said. "And yet, [Cephus] will bounce back. One of the fun things about coaching is seeing these guys play and grow and develop, and football's a vehicle we get to use. He'll bounce back from it."

Cephus leads the Badgers in receiving yards this season, catching 30 passes for 501 yards and six touchdowns.

What makes matters worse for the Badgers is that they're already without Jazz Peavy, who had 43 receptions for 635 yards and five touchdowns last season. Peavy hasn't played since the Nebraska game in early October, and there's no word on when he'll return. That leaves Wisconsin relying on A.J. Taylor, Danny Davis, and Kendric Pryor at the receiver position, and those young receivers have 31 career receptions between them.

If there's any silver lining it's that tight end Troy Fumagalli is still healthy, and Wisconsin's never been a team that relies on its passing attack to win games. Still, having a threat through the air makes it easier for Wisconsin to do what it wants to do: run the football. So the loss of Cephus could hinder Wisconsin's chances of winning the Big Ten this year.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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