Following weekend reports of University of Wisconsin football starting quarterback Graham Mertz’s positive COVID-19 test, multiple sources are now breaking both Mertz and backup quarterback Chase Wolf have tested positive for the virus.
It was announced Tuesday morning that Mertz has tested positive again, guaranteeing he will miss the team’s next three games. If Wolf also tests positive for COVID-19 a second time, the Badgers will be left with fourth-string redshirt junior quarterback Danny Vanden Boom, who would be asked to take the reigns against Nebraska in Lincoln this weekend, Purdue at home Nov. 7 and in a dangerous contest at No. 13 Michigan on Nov. 14.
The Big Ten Conference requires players who test positive to refrain from participating in any team activities for 21 days.
Suspicion over Wolf’s status arose when the redshirt sophomore reportedly missed practice on Monday. Wolf took a couple of snaps, including a rushing attempt at the end of the Badgers blowout victory over Illinois Friday night. He appeared to be the clear-cut backup to Mertz with Jack Coan’s indefinite foot injury bumping him up on the Badger depth chart ahead of the season opener.
It remains to be seen if COVID-19 has affected other rostered Badgers. For now, we prepare for the worst, placing our faith in the Badgers’ touted defense and offensive line. If the news turns out to be true, the Badgers will rely on a committee of running backs and a fourth-string quarterback to keep the team’s ambitious goals afloat. Stay tuned for more information in the coming days.
This post was updated at 12:03 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27 to reflect Mertz’s second positive COVID-19 test.