Maryland’s upcoming college football game against Michigan was canceled by the Wolverines on Wednesday after testing revealed an outbreak of the coronavirus within their program, the university announced.
“The decision by our medical professionals to stop practices and cancel this Saturday's game against Maryland was made with the health, safety and welfare of the student-athletes, coaches and staff as our utmost priority,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement. "We have seen an increase in the number of student-athletes unavailable to compete due to positive COVID-19 tests and associated contact tracing due to our most recent antigen and PCR testing results.”
The Wolverines first discovered a series of presumptive positive tests Monday, prompting head coach Jim Harbaugh to pause all in-person football activities out of an “abundance of caution.” Michigan didn’t practice either Monday or Tuesday and now won’t return to the field until next Monday at the earliest.
Due to the cancelation, Maryland now has just one game remaining on its schedule: a home matchup against Rutgers on Dec. 12. The Terps have played just four games this season after their own COVID-19 outbreak forced them to cancel a pair of games against Ohio State and Michigan State in November. One potential opponent they could squeeze in this weekend is Northwestern, who already had their game against Minnesota called off as a result of positive tests in the Golden Gophers’ program.
The Terps have played Northwestern once already this season, losing 43-3 in their season opener. The Big Ten is allowing teams to add games to their schedules against conference opponents that have games canceled in the same week, even if those two teams have played before or are scheduled to do so later in the season.
Northwestern (5-1) has played enough games to qualify for the Big Ten championship game while Maryland (2-2) is still two games short. The Big Ten will only lower the threshold if the average number of games played by conference teams falls below six.