There had been questions as to whether or not the Michigan Wolverines’ game against the Wisconsin Badgers would be played this weekend due to a COVID-19 in Madison, but it appears as though the primetime showdown is on.
Wisconsin announced on Monday that they have begun regular practices after two weeks off anticipating that a game will be played this weekend in Ann Arbor. Here is the full statement released from the program on Monday.
The Wisconsin football team began its regular game week preparations on Monday morning. The team is scheduled to practice each day this week in anticipation of Saturday’s scheduled game at Michigan but UW Athletics will continue to monitor the program’s COVID-19 testing results closely to determine the team’s activities moving forward.
The football program currently has five active COVID-19 cases, two student-athletes and three staff members. Since Nov. 2, one staff member and one student-athlete have tested positive. Five of the last six days have yielded no positive cases.
“We had no new positives on Tuesday and Wednesday which was a great sign,” UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. “That’s when we started thinking Friday could be a day we could get the team together to start doing things with an eye towards having a regular practice week this week. 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.
“We feel confident that we have a handle on the situation and are excited to play this week at Michigan. As we have done throughout, we will continue to monitor our testing results and base our decision on those results.”
The Badger football team first paused team activities on Oct. 28 and its scheduled games at Nebraska on Oct. 31 and home vs. Purdue on Nov. 7 were canceled.
Badgers head coach Paul Chryst told the media that it is possible that quarterback Graham Mertz could return to the field this weekend if he is able to get enough practice time in. He is out of the COVID-19 isolation protocol.
Michigan opened as a three-point favorite, but the Vegas odds swung in the other direction on Monday with the news that the Badgers and Mertz could be back in action. Saturday’s game is set for a 7:30 p.m. ET kick and will be broadcast via ABC.