Gophers DC Joe Rossi tests positive for COVID-19, won't coach Saturday

A general view of TCF Bank Stadium before the game between the Michigan Wolverines and Minnesota Golden Gophers on October 24, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. ((Photo by David Berding/Getty Images))

The University of Minnesota football team will be without defensive coordinator Joe Rossi for Saturday’s game at Illinoi after he tested positive for COVID-19, team officials said Thursday.

Officials say Rossi tested positive during one of Minnesota’s daily antigen testing periods this week, and his diagnosis was confirmed with a follow-up PCR test. After testing positive, he immediately returned home to isolate and work remotely.

Co-defensive coordinator Joe Harasymiak, who also coaches the defensive backs and safeties, will call the defensive plays in Rossi’s absence.

Team officials say no other coaches or staff have tested positive this week. The Gophers head to Illinois looking for their first win of the 2020 season. Minnesota gave up 675 total yards in last Friday's 45-44 overtime loss at Maryland. The defense allowed 481 total yards to Michigan, and 42 points. The Gophers are still working through trying to replace seven starters from last year's defense.

The Gophers and Illinois are slated for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday.