Wisconsin-Purdue game off amid Badgers' coronavirus outbreak

Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst talks to players during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst talks to players during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin has canceled Saturday's home game against Purdue, the second straight game the 10th-ranked Badgers have called off as COVID-19 cases within their team continue to rise.

School officials announced Tuesday that three more players and two additional staffers have tested positive since Saturday, bringing the program’s total number of active cases to 27. That includes 15 players and 12 staffers.

All team-related activities for Wisconsin remain paused indefinitely.

“I’m concerned with the health and safety of the guys,” athletic director Barry Alvarez said. “No one wants to be on that field any more than I do. But I’m not going to lose track of priorities."

This marks the second consecutive week that Wisconsin has canceled a game due to the virus outbreak. The Badgers had been scheduled to visit Nebraska on Oct. 31. Neither game will be rescheduled.

“While we looked forward to our game this weekend against Wisconsin, we understand the Badgers’ decision to cancel based on medical advice and their need to control any additional transmission of the virus within their team and staff," Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski said in a statement. “The health, well-being and safety of all student-athletes, coaches and staff remains the top priority for the entire Big Ten and will continue to guide decision-making.”

The Purdue-Wisconsin matchup becomes the 38th game involving a Football Bowl Subdivision team to get postponed or canceled as a result of the pandemic.

Wisconsin's 27 active cases all have arisen since Oct. 24, the day after Wisconsin’s season-opening 45-7 victory over Illinois. Ten players and 11 staffers have tested positive over the last seven days.