No. 13 Wisconsin believes game at Michigan will be played
The 13th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers resumed practice Monday morning, and athletic director Barry Alvarez believes the season will resume as well on Saturday night at Michigan.
Wisconsin (1-0) has not played since opening the shortened Big Ten Conference season with a 45-7 win over Illinois on Oct. 23. Since then, the Badgers have been forced to cancel games at Nebraska and at home against Purdue over the last two weekends as a COVID-19 outbreak has surged through the program.
As recently as last week, Wisconsin reported 27 active COVID-19 cases, involving 15 players and 12 staff members. Included in that pool were head coach Paul Chryst and two of the team’s three quarterbacks — Graham Mertz and Chase Wolf.
Alvarez expressed confidence on Monday, however, that the Badgers can get back on track with their season.
“We feel confident that we have a handle on the situation and are excited to play this week at Michigan,” Alvarez said. “As we have done throughout, we will continue to monitor our testing results and base our decision on those results.”
Wisconsin reported Monday the program currently has five active COVID-19 cases, spread across two players and three staff members. In testing since Nov. 2, Wisconsin said only one staff member and one player have tested positive and claimed no positive tests in five of the last six days.
“We had no new positives on Tuesday and Wednesday, which was a great sign,” Alvarez said. “So we were cautious on Friday and Saturday, split guys into groups, and just did conditioning. The team then got together and held its regular Monday practice this morning.”
Under Big Ten rules, a team must play a minimum of six games to be eligible to play in the conference championship game. Wisconsin must play all of its remaining games to qualify.
After Michigan (1-2), Wisconsin has scheduled games remaining at No. 23 Northwestern, at home against Minnesota and No. 10 Indiana, and on the road at Iowa.
The conference title game is slated for Dec. 19.
–Field Level Media