Wisconsin football program pauses all team activities after 12 positive tests

Illinois%27+offensive+line+blocks+Wisconsin+in+the+game+in+Madison+Friday+night.+Since+then%2C+12+Badgers+have+tested+positive+for+COVID-19%2C+shutting+down+team+activities.+

Illinois’ offensive line blocks Wisconsin in the game in Madison Friday night. Since then, 12 Badgers have tested positive for COVID-19, shutting down team activities.

By Jackson Janes, Assistant Sports Editor

Five days after Illinois took on Wisconsin in Madison, the Badgers football program has paused all team activities after 12 total players and coaches have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past five days, including quarterback Graham Mertz and head coach Paul Chryst.

“This morning I received the news that I had tested positive via a PCR test I took yesterday,” Chryst said in a statement Wednesday morning. “I informed my staff and the team this morning and am currently isolating at home. I had not been experiencing any symptoms and feel good as of this morning.

“I am disappointed for our players and coaching staff who put so much into preparing to play each week, but the safety of everyone in our program has to be our top priority, and I support the decision made to pause our team activities.”

Mertz reportedly tested positive on Sunday, though reports of additional positive tests were previously unknown. All positive student-athletes will be required to sit out for three weeks before being eligible to return, though the school has not announced which players have tested positive.

Illini head coach Love Smith told reporters Wednesday morning that the team is “clean” and will still take on Purdue on Saturday.

Wisconsin’s Week 2 matchup with Nebraska has been canceled and will not be rescheduled.

 

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