The No. 10 ranked Wisconsin football team announced Tuesday that its game Saturday against Purdue will be canceled due to the team’s number of COVID-19 cases.
Wisconsin’s football activities will also remain paused indefinitely as the team’s cases have now risen to 27, including 15 student-athletes and 12 coaches. This is the second consecutive week that Wisconsin has had to cancel their game after being forced to cancel last week’s road game against Nebraska.
This news has a major impact on Wisconsin’s hopes to make the Big Ten Championship and potentially the College Football Playoff. Due to their shortened season, the Big Ten released a tiebreaker rule that requires teams to play a minimum of six games in order to be eligible for the conference championship.
With only five remaining games after the Purdue cancelation, the Badgers would be deemed ineligible to qualify for the Big Ten Championship game if they are forced to cancel another game.
Football: Wisconsin’s COVID-19 case count rises to 22 players, staff as of Saturday morningUniversity of Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez announced the Wisconsin football team’s COVID-19 case count has risen to 22 staff Read…
Among some of the positive tests on the Badgers roster include star freshman quarterback Graham Mertz, backup quarterback Chase Wolf and Head Coach Paul Chryst. Since they already lost senior quarterback Jack Coan, the Badgers would have had to start fourth string quarterback Danny Vanden Boom against the Boilermakers.
While Wisconsin’s COVID-19 outbreak has been at the center of news surrounding the Big Ten and the pandemic, Purdue has been another team that has been affected by COVID-19. The Boilermakers were forced to play without Head Coach Jeff Brohm in their Oct. 24 win against Iowa. The Boilers were entering play undefeated and eager to notch their first win against the Badgers since 2003.
Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez initially had only canceled the season for seven days, but now the program is canceling football activities indefinitely as they search for an answer to contain the virus. Alvarez is still looking for ways to get the program on the field in a safe manner.
“I share in the disappointment of our student-athletes and staff,” Alvarez said in an ESPN article. “We have seen a level of improvement in our testing numbers, but not enough to give us the confidence to resume normal activities and play our game on Saturday. We will continue to test regularly, take the proper health-related precautions and look forward to getting our team back on the field as soon as possible.”