Will the Badgers return to football this weekend?

Sports

MADISON, WI – SEPTEMBER 21: A Wisconsin Badgers cheerleader runs with the school banner during the NCAA football game against the Arizona Wildcats on September 21, 2002 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. The Badgers won 31-10. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Will the Wisconsin Badgers finally be returning to the football field this weekend?

The team is preparing like they will head to Michigan on Saturday.

According to a Monday statement,

“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 has five active cases of COVID-19 – two student-athletes and three staff, according to the release. Since last week Monday, one staff member and one student-athlete have tested positive. Five of the last six days, the team reported no new positive cases.

“We had no new positives on Tuesday and Wednesday, which was a great sign,” says UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez. “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.”

In late October, the Badgers paused team activities and its game against Nebraska was canceled.

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.

Ahead of that decision, multiple reports indicated that starting quarterback Graham Mertz’s second coronavirus test had come back positive. This comes after news that back-up quarterback Chase Wolf also tested positive.

Last week, the Badgers game against the Purdue Boilermakers was canceled due to COVID-19 activity on the team.

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