Two days after Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz threw five touchdown passes in a season-opening win over Illinois, he is left waiting to find out whether a second test for COVID-19 will confirm a previous positive test, according to multiple news outlets Sunday.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cited two sources in reporting that Graham, a redshirt freshman who completed 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards in the 45-7 win, tested positive. One of those sources said the first test was on Saturday.
If the second result also comes up positive, Mertz will be sidelined for 21 days, meaning he would miss the Badgers’ next three games – at Nebraska, at home against Purdue, and at No. 13 Michigan.
Among Big Ten protocols set up before the start of the delayed season, a positive result of a point of contact test, presumably the first test Mertz would have taken, is followed by a polymerase chain reaction test as a confirmation.
One of the Journal Sentinel’s sources said several tests at the school have produced initial positive tests that were not borne out by second tests.
ESPN reported that Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst is scheduled to meet with the media on Monday.
Mertz’s performance Friday opened eyes as he stepped in after Jack Coan, who threw for 2,727 yards as a junior last season, suffered a right foot injury on Oct. 3. He had surgery four days later and hopes to play this season.
Mertz’s completion percentage (95.2) and touchdown passes set school records for a single game, and he tied a team record with 17 consecutive pass completions.
–Field Level Media