Big Ten begins daily antigen testing ahead of start to fall sports

The Big Ten begins daily antigen testing of all fall sports athletes, coaches and staff Wednesday.

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The conference plans to open its football season the weekend of Oct. 23-24 and hopes daily testing will mitigate the risk of outbreaks and decrease the probability that a few positive tests will gut rosters when contact tracing sends players into 14-day quarantines.

The Big Ten is taking an especially cautious approach with those who do test positive: The earliest an athlete will be able to return to game competition is 21 days after a positive diagnosis, and following a cardiac evaluation and clearance from a cardiologist.

The Big Ten Conference logo at Memorial Stadium following a college football game between the Michigan Wolverines and Indiana Hoosiers on Nov. 23, 2019, at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana.(Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Image

The University of Maryland said the Terrapins will play a nine-game conference-only season. The school is preparing to begin the season with no fans in attendance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report