The Wisconsin Badgers are busy preparing for Saturday’s Big Ten matchup at Nebraska and they could be down to their fourth quarterback for the matchup.
Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported this week that quarterbacks Graham Mertz and Chase Wolf have both tested positive for coronavirus. Wolf wasn’t at the teams workout on Monday.
Both quarterbacks will require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the first positive result. If that test turns up negative for either player, then they could be available for Saturday’s game. A second positive test would mean they would have to miss 21 days, according to the Big Ten Conference’s protocol.
Starter Jack Coan is already sidelined after foot surgery and Mertz replaced him with a five touchdown performance against Illinois last Friday. If Mertz and Wolf are not available, then the next in line is redshirt junior Danny Vanden Boom.
Vanden Boom is the son of former Badger defensive back Matt Vanden Boom, who was an All-American back in 1981.
Danny Vanden Boom redshirted in 2017, played in three games in 2018 and didn’t see any time in 2019. His only pass attempt was a 3-yard touchdown against New Mexico.
As a three-sport standout at Kimberly High School, Vanden Boom went 28-0 as the Papermakers starter at quarterback, winning WIAA Division 1 titles in both 2015 and 2016.
In 2015, Vanden Boom led Kimberly to a comeback win over Arrowhead in the title game, coming from 21-points down in the third quarter to pull out the victory.
The only other quarterback on the roster is true freshman Daniel Wright from Iowa. Running back Garrett Groshek could also play a role as well. The senior was a standout quarterback at Amherst High School and could give the Badgers some wildcat options against the Cornhuskers.
Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst’s quarterback picture may be a little cloudy right now, but during a Zoom call with reporters on Monday, he said he is confident the game will be played.