Michigan football still hopes to play final game of 2020 season


Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh doesn’t believe his team’s season is over.

Although the Wolverines have called off Saturday’s game against Ohio State – the second in a row they’ve had to cancel due to a COVID-19 outbreak – Harbaugh is hoping the team can play on the 19th. December in his crossover match against an opponent from Big Ten West.

But first, Michigan needs to curb its current epidemic. Although the school did not announce the number of positive tests in the team, athletic director Warde Manuel said in a video conference on Tuesday that cases had continued to rise since the announcement of an outbreak on the 30th. November.

“Boosting the positives of COVID was the goal here last week,” Harbaugh said during the press conference with reporters. “I’m still trying to get it under control, and I hope it gets better in the next few days. In the end, we were told the number of people absent due to COVID was too high, ”Harbaugh said. “So there is a real possibility that we can play again before the end of this season.

“Our players, as I said before, want to play. They wanted to play this week. They want to play next week. They will continue to condition and prepare for this possibility.

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Darryl Conway, Michigan health and wellness manager, said the team had not entered the ‘red-red’ zone established by the Big Ten, forcing a team to shut down all activities when the total test positivity rate exceeds 5% and the population exceeds 7.5%. But Michigan medical staff did not allow the team to resume training on Tuesday, which would have been a crucial step towards possibly playing on Saturday.

“The situation we were in, we knew there were obstacles,” Harbaugh said. “And the situation we find ourselves in today is that the players, for a man, wanted to play this game.

“It’s a daily process, and we follow the daily decisions that are made. We act in the best interests of the health and safety of our players and staff. Tomorrow there will be more information; there will be more decisions made and we will continue to monitor those decisions, which is in the best interest of the health and safety of our players.

Meanwhile, the schedule for the Big Ten next week remains evolving. If Ohio State (5-0) is unable to find another opponent this week, they will not meet the six-game threshold required to be eligible for the Big Ten Championship. However, conference commissioner Kevin Warren said on Tuesday he would meet with “stakeholders” within the conference to discuss current requirements to be eligible for the title match.

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Next week, the Big Ten teams are set to play a crossover match against an enemy from the opposing division, but Manuel was asked Tuesday about the possibility of rescheduling the Michigan-Ohio State game to November 19.

“We’re going to make all the adjustments from my point of view that we need to make,” he said. “So if we don’t and we make adjustments to our schedule and play Ohio State the week of the 19th, from my perspective that would be great. We will play against whoever is programmed for us.

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