Reports: Wisconsin QB Mertz tests positive for COVID-19, awaits confirmation


Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

(WFRV) – Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz made school history with five touchdowns in his first start under center. The next time he steps on the field may be in doubt after he tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, according to reports.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Wisconsin State Journal are both reporting Mertz’s antigen test came back positive, and he is now waiting the results of a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test to confirm the diagnosis.

No players, coaches, or staff who participated in Friday’s game tested positive or showed symptoms prior, according to a release by the Wisconsin Athletic Department on Sunday.

Any player that tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for ten days, according to Big Ten policy. They then undergo cardiac testing, and must receive clearance from a cardiologist designated by the university. The earlies a student athlete can return to competition is 21 days after the positive diagnosis.

The redshirt freshman threw for five touchdowns and 248 yards on Friday in his first start against Illinois. Mertz stepped into the role after Jack Coan went down with a foot injury during preseason came.

Back-up quarterback Chase Wolf would likely step into the starting role if Mertz is sidelined by the virus. Ninth ranked Wisconsin travels to Nebraska this week, followed by a home game against Purdue on November 7th.

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