This Saturday's border battle between the Gophers and Wisconsin in Big Ten football is up in the air after the Gophers had to cancel practice Tuesday due to COVID-19.
The athletic department made the following announcement on Monday:
"Upon the advice of medical experts, the University of Minnesota football team will not practice on Tuesday and will conduct all meetings virtually as a result of presumptive COVID-19 positive tests Monday. The team's goal is to return to a regular practice schedule on Wednesday in preparation for Saturday’s game at Wisconsin. An update will be provided when additional test results are returned and more information is available."
Minnesota defeated Purdue 34-31 on Friday despite playing the game without 22 players and three coaches, not all due to COVID-19 however. The Gophers have not disclosed how many of the absences were related to COVID-19.
The Gophers are scheduled to face Wisconsin in Madison at 1 p.m. Saturday. For the game to be called off, it would require at least 5% of the team's tests over a 7-day period to come back positive, according to Big Ten protocol.
Minnesota has 170 players and coaches who are tested daily for a total of 1,190 weekly tests. That means it would take 60 positive tests to meet the Big Ten protocol for stopping practices and competition for a minimum of seven days.
A player who tests positive cannot return to competition until 21 days after receiving a positive diagnosis.
Wisconsin has already had to postpone two games due to a COVID-19 outbreak.