P.J. Fleck Show: Gophers aim to play Nebraska after COVID-19 issues

The University of Minnesota football team has been on pause for two weeks due to COVID-19 cases within the team, but there’s cautious optimism the Gophers can finish the regular season at Nebraska on Dec. 12.

The brings the P.J. Fleck Show back to Fox 9 this week with Coach Fleck, Hobie Artigue, Ron Johnson and KFAN sideline reporter Justin Gaard. This week, they talk about how the team has had to pause football activities as 21 players and 26 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 since Nov. 19.

Minnesota’s games at Wisconsin, and against Northwestern have had to be canceled as a result. Fleck says of his program’s positive cases, there haven’t been any hospitalizations and few with symptoms. Most of the cases have been asymptomatic.

Team officials announced Thursday two more players have tested positive since Monday, bring the total cases in the program to 49 since Nov. 19. That number includes 23 players, and 26 staff members.

With positive cases coming down, the Gophers were able to resume outdoor conditioning in small groups this week. The hope is to be practicing by the end of the week, and the goal is to play at Nebraska a week from Saturday. Ultimately, that decision is not up to Fleck. It’s up to health and medical experts, and Big Ten officials.

Fleck and the crew talked about how COVID-19 has affected the Gophers, the win over Purdue and the team's hopes to play Nebraska.

If the Gophers are able to finish the regular season against the Cornhuskers, it’ll be without star receiver Rashod Bateman, who opted out of the remainder of the season after football activities were paused. Bateman had COVID-19 over the summer, and is preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft, where he’s expected to be a first round pick.

Watch the video for this week's P.J. Fleck Show!