Injured Badger Thomas leaves Capital One Bowl

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas, who is considering entering the NFL draft early, injured his right knee midway through the third quarter in Monday's 24-10 victory over Auburn in the Capital One Bowl.

Thomas' injury clouded an otherwise happy coaching finale for Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez.

"That just makes you sick when something like that happens," Alvarez said.

Wisconsin officials said the extent of the Thomas' injury would not be known immediately, but the player left on crutches.

Thomas, a 6-8, 303-pound junior from Brookfield, Wisc., said last week that his evaluation by NFL officials indicated he was projected as a first-round pick.

"There's no doubt in my mind that I'll have plenty of information, have a full scope of where I'm able to go and how things will turn out," he said at the time.

Thomas, who was injured while playing defensive end, was replaced at left tackle by 340-pound true freshman Eric VandenHeuvel.