Michigan cancels final football game of season vs Iowa as COVID-19 cases keep climbing

The Michigan Wolverines take the field prior to playing the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium on November 28, 2020 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The University of Michigan football team may have played its last game of the year after canceling this weekend's scheduled matchup against Iowa.

The Wolverines announced the cancelation of their third straight game due to COVID-19 cases in the football department.

According to a statement from athletics director Warde  Manuel, cases of the virus are rising in student-athletes, even after the cancelation of the games against Maryland on Dec. 5 and Ohio State on Dec. 12.

"In accordance with the Big Ten COVID-19 medical policies and health guidelines, we are without a significant number of players for this week's game," said Manuel. "Couple that with the normal attrition due to injury, and we do not have enough available players at multiple position groups to field a team at Iowa. We have more student-athletes out this week compared to last week and the week prior."

Manuel said more than 50 student-athletes either tested positive or were associated with people who had tested positive. Either way, 50 student-athletes were uneligible to play this weekend.

"The number of positive tests over the past three weeks, which require a 21-day unavailability period, and the contact tracing requirements associated with those numbers has pushed our current list of unavailable student-athletes to over 50. This is a very unfortunate situation, and we are disappointed that our program will not be able to finish the season against the Hawkeyes," Manuel said.

"I am very proud of the way that our players worked to try and get back onto the field, but the numbers simply don't support us taking the field on Saturday. This has been a very challenging and difficult 2020 for everyone, and we want to make sure we are doing what is right for our student-athletes at every step along the way, and that ultimately is ensuring their health, safety and welfare," Manuel said.