Two days after rewriting the Wisconsin and Big Ten record books in his first-ever collegiate start, Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz has registered an initial positive COVID-19 test.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Sunday was first to report Mertz’s positive test, after Mertz & the Badgers blew past Illinois Friday night, 45-7, in the first Big Ten Conference game of the 2020 season for any of the league’s members.
Thrust into action because of an injury to incumbent starter Jack Coan, the freshman Mertz threw for 248 yards, five touchdowns and just one incompletion in his 21 attempts.
So what’s next for Mertz? The Big Ten established slightly different COVID-19 protocols than some other power leagues, meaning Mertz could be shelved for 21 days.
The Big Ten, Wisconsin and Mertz must now await a second test; if also positive, Big Ten protocols require any player or coach to wait three full weeks before being able to return to competition.
The Big Ten is playing just an eight-game schedule, and Mertz, a former four-star recruit from the Kansas City area, would not be eligible to return until the second half of the Badgers’ abbreviated campaign.
As update is expected Monday. As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest information.