For the first time since 1917, Michigan will not play Ohio State this season. The game, which was scheduled to be played in Columbus on Saturday at noon, has been canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan’s program.
According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, the Wolverines would have been without approximately 45 players due to positive cases, contact tracing and injuries.
The outbreak first began affecting the program on Nov. 30 — two days after a 27-17 loss to Penn State — when all team activities became virtual. On Monday, the Wolverines resumed some in-person workouts, but were unable to return to full practices due to “an increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases and student-athletes in quarantine,” according to a statement released by the program Tuesday afternoon.
“The number of positive tests has continued to trend in an upward direction over the last seven days,” athletic director Warde Manuel said in the statement. “We have not been cleared to participate in practice at this time. Unfortunately, we will not be able to field a team due to COVID-19 positives and the associated quarantining required of close contact individuals. This decision is disappointing for our team and coaches but their health and safety is paramount, and it will always come first in our decision-making.”
This is the second Michigan game that has been canceled due to the outbreak. The Wolverines’ game against Maryland, which was scheduled for Dec. 5, was also canceled. On Tuesday afternoon, a source told The Daily there is a chance the Wolverines are still able to play a game next week.
Michigan finishes the regular season with a 2-4 record and can next return to action on Dec. 19 for the Big Ten’s Championship Week.
Daniel Dash contributed reporting to this story.
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