Report: Graham Mertz tests positive for COVID-19 again, will be out 21 days

CBS Sports is reporting Wisconsin redshirt freshman quarterback Graham Maertz has tested positive again for COVID-19 and will be out 21 days, per the Big Ten’s COVID-19 health protocols.

Mertz had reportedly tested positive over the weekend and was being tested again to rule out a false positive. CBS Sports says a source has confirmed Mertz has tested positive again.

Mertz threw for 248 yards and five touchdowns in last Friday’s blowout win over Illinois. Neither Mertz nor any Badger had tested positive before kickoff.

Big Ten protocols specify a three-week period away following a positive test. Those protocols also mandate that those athletes have to undergo extensive cardiac testing, due to health concerns about COVID-19 and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle).

The third-string quarterback behind Mertz is sophomore Chase Wolf, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported Wolf has also tested positive for COVID-19. With 2019 starter Jack Coan still out indefinitely with a foot injury, the job now falls to fourth-stringer Danny Vanden Boom.

Wisconsin plays Saturday afternoon at Nebraska, then home vs. Purdue the following week, and then at Michigan the week after that.