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Minnesota football eyes a potential return to practice

The Gophers are hopeful to return to action against Nebraska

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Outback Bowl - Minnesota v Auburn Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced that the team was cleared to begin “light acclimatization workouts” on Wednesday and continued to conduct those workouts on Thursday, eyeing a potential return to practice in the coming days.

Since the total number of COVID-19 cases ballooned to 47 — 21 student athletes and 26 staff members — as of Monday, Nov. 30, the program has had only two positive tests — both of which were student-athletes — in the days since.

Here is the timeline:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 24: Minnesota announced a pause in all team-related football activities and the cancellation of the Wisconsin game after 15 individuals — nine student-athletes and six staff members — tested positive for COVID-19 in a five-day span.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 25: 10 more individuals — three student-athletes and seven staff members — had tested positive, bringing the total number of positive cases up to 25.
  • Saturday, Nov. 28: 15 more individuals — eight-student athletes and seven staff members — had tested positive, bringing the total number of positive cases up to 40.
  • Monday, Nov. 30: Seven more individuals — one student-athlete and six staff members — have tested positive, bringing the total number of positive cases up to 47.

If the Gophers are able to return to practice this week, that would certainly bode well for their scheduled game against Nebraska on Saturday, Dec. 12, though Minnesota would undoubtedly have a number of players unavailable due to the Big Ten’s 21-day rule.