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Wisconsin pausing activities, will not play Nebraska

Wisconsin is pausing all team activities for at least one week and will not play this weekend's game with Nebraska, the program announced Wednesday.

"The Wisconsin football team will pause all team-related activities for at least seven days due to an elevated number of COVID-19 cases within the Badgers program," the program said. "The team’s scheduled game against Nebraska on Saturday will not be played."

Pausing activities means Wisconsin has passed thresholds of 5 percent positivity within the team and 7.5 percent positivity within the team's population. Paul Chryst is among the group of six positive players and six positive coaches, the program announced. The Badgers were already set to be without starting quarterback Graham Mertz and backup Chase Wolf due to their positive COVID tests.

"We have said from the beginning that the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff members comes first," Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez said. "Over the past several days we have seen a rising number of student-athletes and staff contract the virus. The responsible thing for us to do is to pause football-related activities for at least seven days."

The game will be scored as a no-contest, though it means Wisconsin (and Nebraska) is down to just one mulligan left in its bag. Big Ten teams must play in at least six of eight scheduled games to be eligible for the conference title game; the Badgers (and Huskers) will now play a maximum of seven.

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Wisconsin is set to host Purdue on Nov. 7, but this pause means preparations will not begin until Wednesday of next week at the earliest. Nebraska visits Northwestern next Saturday.

All positive infections require a 21-day isolation period among players, meaning the six positive cases will miss Purdue and Michigan as well, assuming those games are played. Coaches are required to isolate for 10 days.

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This is the first Big Ten game to be canceled this season.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.