The Wisconsin Badgers have been known for churning out some really high-quality defensive players over the last few years. Of course, JJ Watt and TJ Watt have both won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. In addition, there is a plethora of former Badgers linebackers scattered throughout the NFL. Nick Herbig declaring for the NFL Draft ensures that there will almost certainly be another one soon, too. This past season, Leo Chenal and Jack Sanborn were either drafted or signed onto NFL rosters. Unfortunately, it appears that Sanborn’s season is going to be ending early.
Jack Sanborn is headed to IR with his ankle injury. His season is over.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) December 20, 2022
This is certainly a devasting blow to the defense of the Chicago Bears. Sanborn had emerged as one of their best and most explosive players. Against the Packers, Sanborn had 11 total tackles including one for a loss.
Jack Sanborn Has Been Better than Leo Chenal This Season
Despite being the undrafted former Badgers linebacker, Sanborn has been outperforming his former Wisconsin teammate, Leo Chenal. Badgers fans may recall that Chenal was drafted in the third round by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Both players have appeared in 14 games this season. Additionally, they both have started six games. However, Sanborn has played 331 defensive snaps (38% of Chicago’s defensive plays) while Chenal has played 195 defensive snaps (21% of the Chief’s defensive plays). Sanborn has really displayed great tackling skills, racking up 60 total tackles and a 4.5% missed tackling percentage. Chenal, on the other hand, has just 23 total tackles and a 14.7% missed tackle percentage.
Additionally, Sanborn has recorded more sacks (2.0) than Chenal (1.0) in the NFL this season. Of course, both of their careers are still young and Chenal may very well end up being the better player. Personally I hope they both dominate (except against the Packers).