Washington

COVID tests force Michigan to pause ahead of game vs. Terps

Washington

Michigan’s football program cancelled all in-person activities Monday out of an “abundance of caution” after the team experienced a spike in positive coronavirus cases that are awaiting confirmation, head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters. He didn’t give a timetable for when the team will resume.

The Wolverines are slated to host Maryland at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in what would be just the fifth game of the Terps’ season. Though Harbaugh gave no indication that there are plans to cancel this weekend’s contest, he didn’t rule out the possibility of it being called off, either.

“Like everything, it just goes along with the culture that's been set here since June,” Harbaugh said in a Zoom press conference Monday, as quoted by The Detroit News. “This is day-to-day. When results come back, we'll monitor those results and as always continue to be very proactive.”

Maryland dealt with its own COVID-19 outbreak that forced the program to cancel games against Ohio State and Michigan State before resuming its schedule Saturday with a 27-11 loss to Indiana. If the Terps’ upcoming game is in fact cancelled, one available opponent would be Northwestern after the Wildcats’ upcoming game against Minnesota was cancelled due to an outbreak in the Golden Gophers’ locker room.

The Terps already played Northwestern this year, losing 43-3 in their season opener, but the Big Ten issued a temporary rule change earlier in November that allowed teams to play conference opponents twice in order to get to six total games. Teams must have six games played in order to qualify for the Big Ten championship game, though that threshold will be lowered if the average number of games played among all conference teams is fewer than six.