Missouri pulls out of Music City Bowl due to COVID-19 issues

Missouri pulled out of Wednesday’s Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday because of an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 tests among players, coaches and staff.

Jim Sterk, director of athletics, made the announcement that the Tigers were pausing program activities, including the game vs. Iowa, through Jan. 2.

“Since concluding our regular season and conducting four rounds of tests over the last eight days, we have seen a significant increase in positive COVID-19 tests among our student-athletes, coaches and staff, and after consulting with local health officials, our team physicians and MU Health’s Dr. Steve Whitt, who is our representative on the SEC Medical Task Force, we unfortunately must pause all football team-related activities until at least January 2 to help contain the virus’ spread and ensure the health and well-being of everyone within our program and the community,” Sterk said in a statement.

The Athletic had reported earlier Sunday that it was “highly unlikely” the Tigers (5-5) and No. 15 Hawkeyes (6-2) would be playing the contest.

Missouri’s COVID-19 outbreak ongoing

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Missouri’s latest cases have been traced to a game at Mississippi State on Dec. 19.

Missouri Tigers, helmet
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri lost its final two games of the regular season, including a 51-32 decision to Mississippi State.

Iowa won its last six games after opening the Big Ten campaign with losses to Purdue and Northwestern.

The Hawkeyes had their own COVID-19 outbreak and just returned to practice on Saturday.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)