COVID-19 Infiltrates Badger Football 

Badgers await end of COVID-19 break in play


Hannah Foslien / Getty Images / TNS

Coach Paul Chryst of the Wisconsin Badgers looks on before the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium on Nov. 30, 2019 in Minneapolis. A COVID-19 outbreak among Wisconsin players and coaches forced the cancellation of two games, but the team hopes to return this weekend.

Mackenzie Moore, News Editor

When the Big Ten announced its return in September, the public’s excitement largely overshadowed concerns about spreading COVID-19. Just days after the Wisconsin Badgers rolled to a win against the Illinois Fighting Illini, news broke that the virus had entered the locker room. 

Graham Mertz, the promising redshirt freshman quarterback who had taken over for the injured Jack Coan before the season began, was the first to have been diagnosed. Shortly following this news, it also became known the Mertz’s backup, Chase Wolf, had also contracted the virus. 

From there, the news for Badger fans and players only worsened. In a press release, the team announced that all football-related activities would be halted for a minimum of seven days due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. This resulted in the cancellation of the Oct. 31 game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The game is not expected to be rescheduled. 

As of Oct. 31, 12 players and 10 staff members had contracted the virus, including head coach Paul ChrystAccording to Big Ten guidelines, infected players cannot play in a game until 21 days after their diagnosis. This means that Graham Mertz could return as early as Nov. 14 against Michigan.