Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz feeling good, hoping to play at Illinois

Roughly 48 hours after being forced out of Wisconsin’s loss to Michigan due to a big hit to his chest, quarterback Graham Mertz was feeling good and looking to be in the lineup when the Badgers travel to Illinois this Saturday.

“I feel alright. Just kind of taking it day-by-day, just doing treatment, try to get better every day,” Mertz said Monday. “You always want to play, so I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure I can put myself in the best position, but I feel good.”

Mertz took a huge shot to the left side of his body when a Michigan blitzer came free on the third play of the second half. He stayed down for a time before heading into the injury tent and eventually inside the locker room.

“It just felt like another shot but my body just reacted a little different,” Mertz said. “I’m used to taking shots like that, nothing crazy, nothing out of the ordinary.”

After tests were done at UW’s facility, it was determined Mertz would be taken to a local hospital for further examination. Everything was deemed to be fine and he was discharged early Saturday night.

“All the tests — I have to be careful because I’m not a doctor — but everything is good that way,” coach Paul Chryst said. “And obviously, going through the week we’ll kind of see.”

Monday’s are typically light days for Wisconsin and the practice was essentially a walk-through. But Mertz said he did throw the ball some and felt good doing it. He is listed as questionable for the game at Illinois.