Wisconsin issues statement amid reports Mertz tests positive

Tanya Simon
October 27, 2020

Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst isn't discussing quarterback Graham Mertz's status following reports that the redshirt freshman has tested positive for COVID-19. He will miss games against Nebraska, Purdue and MI after tying a Badgers record with five touchdown passes and throwing just one incompletion on 21 attempts in their season-opening 45-7 rout of IL on Friday.

Each Power Five conference tests players at least three times per week, but the Big Ten's mandatory 21-day hiatus for players who test positive is the longest of the group. After Nebraska, Wisconsin hosts Purdue before visiting No. 13 MI.

All athletes who test positive must self-isolate for 10 days. "Admittedly, they told us it was more conservative, and if that helps one person, then that's a good thing for us. The statement did note that no player who participated in Friday's game tested positive prior to the game, nor reported any symptoms".

"Wisconsin Athletics continues to conduct daily antigen testing for the student-athletes, coaches and selected support staff associated with the Badger football program", the statement read.

School officials said they wouldn't release any testing information regarding individual athletes due to privacy concerns.

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"Following cardiac evaluation, student-athletes must receive clearance from a cardiologist designated by the university for the primary objective of cardiac clearance for COVID-19 positive student-athletes", the Big Ten's policy states.

According to the Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin has experienced "several false positives" since the Big Ten instituted its daily testing policy. "Individuals who receive a negative antigen test result continue to participate in team activities". He went 20 of 21 for 248 yards.

"I feel confident in everything that is happening right now", Chryst said per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Nebraska coach Scott Frost said Mertz's situation wouldn't necessarily impact how the Cornhuskers approach this game. I don't think their offense would change even if he wasn't playing.

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