Minnesota vs. Wisconsin Canceled Because of COVID-19 Concerns

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IINovember 24, 2020

Bucky Badger is seen during the first half of an NCAA football game between the Wisconsin and the Minnesota Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

The University of Minnesota football team will not travel to Wisconsin this weekend. 

Minnesota announced Tuesday that Saturday's game has been canceled due to positive tests for COVID-19 within the program. Colten Bartholomew of the Wisconsin State Journal reported that Minnesota canceled practice Tuesday and would hold virtual meetings following positive antigen tests Monday.

The 2-1 Badgers, who already had two games canceled due to COVID-19, could be ineligible for the Big Ten championship game because they may not play the minimum number of games needed to qualify (h/t CBS Sports). 

The Gophers have paused all team activities, citing a "rise in positive COVID-19 cases in the program," according to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg. He added that nine players and six staff members from Minnesota have returned positive tests in the last five days. 

Minnesota defeated Purdue 34-31 last week, but 22 players were "medically unavailable" for the game between the virus and injuries, and Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said "about half" of those players were sidelined with either a positive COVID test or as a result of contract tracing, per Bartholomew. 

Saturday's game is the first cancellation of the season for Minnesota and the third for the Wisconsin.

The Badgers, who are ranked No. 18 in the latest AP Top 25 poll, canceled two consecutive games earlier this year. After calling off the Oct. 31 game against Nebraska, Wisconsin also called off its Nov. 7 game against Purdue because of ongoing positive tests, per Ben Kercheval of CBS Sports. 

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The Badgers will close out their season with games scheduled against No. 12 Indiana on Dec. 5 and Iowa on Dec. 12, while the 2-3 Gophers are scheduled to play No. 11 Northwestern on Dec. 5 and Nebraska on Dec. 12.