Illinois QB Brandon Peters tests positive for COVID-19 and will now sit out 21 days under new Big Ten protocols

Shannon Ryan, Chicago Tribune

Illinois starting quarterback Brandon Peters was forced to miss Saturday’s game against Purdue after contracting COVID-19, the team announced about an hour before kickoff.

Redshirt freshman tight end Griffin Moore also missed the game after a positive test and “several” players were out due to contact tracing. They will also miss the Nov. 7 game against Minnesota.

Illinois listed 14 players as out for the game against the Boilermakers, who defeated the Illini, 31-24.

Moore and Peters will have to sit out 21 days and would be eligible to return for the Nov. 21 Nebraska game pending their health status, per Big Ten rules. They tested positive on Thursday.

Purdue is the second game of the delayed Big Ten season and first home game for Illinois. The Illini lost, 45-7, at Wisconsin last week in the season opener, after which Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz’s positive test was reported.

Athletic director Barry Alvarez said on College GameDay the Wisconsin team had 22 positive COVID-19 tests, including 12 players and 10 staff members. Coach Paul Chryst tested positive earlier in the week.

Wisconsin elected to postpone its game against Nebraska after learning of multiple positive tests.

Purdue coach Jeff Brohm, who missed the Boilermakers opener against Iowa, returned to the sideline after missing 10 days with a positive COVID-19 test.

Besides Peters and Moore, sidelined Illini players on Saturday included: defensive back Christian Bobak, linebacker Shammond Cooper, offensive lineman Brevyn Jones, wide receiver Kerby Joseph, offensive lineman Doug Kramer, defensive back Michael Marchese, kicker James McCourt, offensive lineman Moses Okpala, defensive lineman Keith Randolph, wide receiver Trevon Sidney, offensive lineman Jordyn Slaughter and quarterback Isaiah Williams.

Kramer and McCourt are roommates with Peters, and Cooper and Randolph live with Moore, according to Illini Inquirer.

Williams received snaps as a backup in the Oct. 23 opener at Wisconsin. Illinois turned to third-string quarterback Matt Robinson, a redshirt sophomore, to start against Purdue.

Alex Pihlstrom moved into a starting role at left guard to replace Kendrick Green, who moved center to take over for Kramer.

Illinois coach Lovie Smith said on Wednesday the team was “clean” when asked about positive tests.

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