Badgers’ Covid Problems Leave Season in Limbo

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Joey Bonadonna, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

A day after the Wisconsin Badgers’ Opening Day victory against the Illinois Fighting Illini, starting quarterback Graham Mertz tested positive for COVID-19.

On October 23, Mertz, a redshirt freshman from Kansas, threw for 248 yards and five touchdown passes on 20/21 attempts.

In the ensuing days, along with Mertz, backup quarterback Chase Wolf, head coach Paul Chryst and eight others in the Badgers program tested positive for COVID-19.

On October 28, the Badgers’ next game against Nebraska scheduled for October 31 was cancelled as four more within the program tested positive.

As of October 30, there are 22 active cases, but athletic director Barry Alvarez has tested negative.

The Illini program was also presumably affected by the game on Friday, as their starting quarterback Brandon Peters also tested positive.

The Big Ten conference’s return-to-play policy includes a 21-day isolation period for players, so all players that have tested positive will be out for at least three weeks.

The status of the Badgers’ next game against Purdue scheduled for November 7 is currently up in the air.