MADISON, Wis. — Linebacker Jack Cichy, the leading tackler for No. 11 Wisconsin, will miss the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle.
The injury is the latest setback for a defense that has weathered adversity to remain one of the stingiest units in the country.
The Badgers (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) are ranked second in the country in scoring defense (14.3 points per game) and third in total defense (300.6 yards). They play No. 7 Nebraska on Saturday night at Camp Randall Stadium.
Cichy got hurt near the end of the first half of the 17-9 win on Saturday over Iowa. Cichy hit the ground while sliding out of bounds after tackling Iowa running back Akrum Wadley following an 11-yard gain to the Wisconsin 29 with 5 seconds left.
"Jack embodies what Wisconsin is about...Jack will be sadly missed on this team."— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) October 24, 2016
Cichy to miss the rest of 2016https://t.co/6XrzhpBs6G
He returned to play in the second half before leaving for good in the fourth quarter. Cichy, who wore a wrap around his shoulder and left chest after the injury, had trouble lunging for ball carriers and wrapping up for tackles.
"He didn't hurt it worse by (playing in the second half), I do know that," coach Paul Chryst said.
Linebacker Vince Biegel, who just returned from a foot injury, said Cichy couldn't lift his left arm after the game.
WATCH: Cichy's journey to Wisconsin
Cichy finishes the season with 60 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks. He's the second starting linebacker to get knocked out for the season for the Badgers, after Chris Orr got hurt in the season opener against LSU.
Thanks to everyone for the support! Can't wait to get rehab underway. I know my brothers are gonna keep this season rolling! #OnWisconsin— Jack Cichy (@jackCICHY) October 24, 2016
"Of course you're going to miss them, missing two starters and two emotional guys, leaders of your team," Chryst said. "That's also an opportunity for others to step up."
This article was written by Genaro C. Armas from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.