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The University of Wisconsin has announced that the game against Nebraska this Saturday has been canceled and that the team will now pause football operations for seven days. This comes after the news that quarterback Graham Mertz tested positive for COVID-19. According to Bruce Feldman, several other program members have also tested positive, including head coach Paul Chryst:
“A total of 12 people within the Wisconsin football program had tested positive for COVID-19 in the past five days. That figure includes six student-athletes and six staff members, including head coach Paul Chryst."
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) October 28, 2020
Given that the Big Ten mandates that those who test positive must absent themselves from football operations for 21 days, which is twice as long as the CDC recommends, it’s not a stretch to say that Wisconsin’s entire football season is in jeopardy. After Nebraska, they are slated to play Purdue and Michigan. We shall see.
Meanwhile, Dan Patrick dropped this potential bombshell on his FOX Sports Radio show this morning:
DP from a source on Wisconsin: Graham Mertz likely had COVID prior to last week’s game but tested negative. He was at all team activities leading up to the game, so it spread throughout the team. A significant number of positives this week. Game v. Nebraska is growing doubtful pic.twitter.com/yyjtHkk0Tf
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) October 28, 2020
Dan Patrick has been pretty plugged into the Big Ten over the last several months. This is a pretty explosive story, and I am very interested to see more specifics in follow-up reporting. If Mertz indeed had symptoms before the Illinois game, this story is going to spiral.