Illinois head coach Bret Bielema tested positive for COVID-19, he announced Tuesday.
Bielema, 51, has been vaccinated and received the booster shot last week. He will miss Saturday’s game in Iowa.
“After developing mild symptoms yesterday, I was tested and, unfortunately, tested positive for a breakthrough case late Monday night,” he said in a statement. “I am disappointed that I will not be with our team this week. …
“If everything stays on its current path, I should be available and present next week. Our team has repeatedly shown this year that ‘next man up’ is the standard, not the exception, and this will be another example of this mentality.”
Assistant head coach George McDonald will lead the team while Bielema is absent. The Illini are 4-6 with games left against Iowa and Northwestern and must both win to secure a bowl game invite.
“Unfortunately,” said athletic director Josh Whitman, “we are reminded every day that the pandemic is not over.”