Wisconsin says COVID-19 outbreak is up to 22; Purdue game could be in jeopardy

The COVID-19 outbreak within the Wisconsin football team keeps growing.

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said Saturday morning on ESPN’s “College GameDay” that the team had 22 people who had tested positive for the coronavirus. That’s up from the 16 Wisconsin had announced on Thursday. Alvarez noted that 12 of the positive tests were players and 10 were staffers.

Alvarez also said that the status of Wisconsin’s game against Purdue on Nov. 7 would be determined on Tuesday. The Badgers are not playing Nebraska on Saturday because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The game has been declared a no contest.

Wisconsin said in its Thursday announcement that the earliest it could resume practicing was Nov. 4 — or three days before the Purdue game. Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst is the only member of the program who has self-identified as one of the COVID-19 positives.

If Wisconsin can’t play Purdue, that game would be declared a no contest as well. It would also be the last game Wisconsin could have canceled and still be eligible for the Big Ten championship game. A team has to play a minimum of six games in 2020 to play in the conference title game. Because teams are not going to be playing the same amount of games this season the Big Ten is determining its division standings based on winning percentage.

Purdue is set to play Illinois on Saturday. Nebraska tried to schedule FCS school Chattanooga in place of Wisconsin but the Big Ten said no because the teams in the conference previously agreed to play a conference-only schedule.

A Wisconsin football helmet is shown before a news conference, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 in Hollywood, Fla. Wisconsin will play Miami Dec. 30 in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wisconsin's outbreak is growing. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Illinois QB Brandon Peters has COVID-19

Illinois announced Saturday morning that Brandon Peters was one of two players who had tested positive for COVID-19. The Michigan transfer started in the Illini’s loss to Wisconsin on Oct. 23.

Both Peters and TE Griffin Moore will be out for 21 days as a result of their positive tests and can resume playing on Nov. 21 vs. Nebraska.

Additionally, the Illini said that 12 other players would miss Saturday’s game vs. Purdue.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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