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Badgers expect top Gopher receiver to be on the field Saturday

The University of Wisconsin coaches assume that Minnesota receiver Eric Decker will play against the Badgers Saturday even though the Gophers have ruled him out.

Decker, the Big Ten's leading receiver, suffered a high-ankle sprain two weeks ago and he was taken out during the first half of last weekend's 29-to-6 Gopher loss to Michigan.

Badgers' defensive coordinator Dave Doeren has his unit practicing as if Decker will play and if he doesn't, Doeren says it will be a bonus.

Badgers' Head Coach Bret Bielema says he'll only believe Decker's absence when he sees it.

Meanwhile, Badgers' right offensive tackle Eric Vanden Heuvel, of Hudson, did not practice Thursday due to an ankle injury. He is not expected to play in Saturday's Badger conference finale.