Bret Bielema expected to re-join Illini this week

Sports

CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois head coach Bret Bielema is planning to return to his team on Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19. Bielema should be back on the sidelines for Sunday’s game against Northwestern, after spending the last 10 days in isolation.

Bielema missed the game against Iowa last week, as Illinois suffered a 33-23 defeat on the road. He’s been able to stay in contact with the team through technology, but is looking forward to getting back in the building.

“I’ve been able to meet with my coaches on a daily basis, so I haven’t been in the building but for the prep, but the game plan is pretty much in the bag, but I am excited to see the guys I really truly am,” says Bielema. “They may not be excited to see me, but I’m excited to see them. I imagine the first thing I’ll do is go in that office get some beats poppin’, I’m gonna get a shave, I got a little COVID beard going on.”

Illinois takes on Northwestern at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. The Illini haven’t beat Northwestern since 2014.

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