Gophers Bateman opts out of remainder of the season

Gophers fans will have to wait until the 2021 NFL season to see Rashod Bateman back on the field.

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Kamaan Richards

Gophers Wide Receiver Rashod Bateman carries the ball at the 2020 Outback Bowl on Wednesday, Jan. 1. The Gophers went on to take the game 31-24 over the Auburn Tigers.

Nolan O'Hara, Sports Editor

Gophers’ star receiver Rashod Bateman is opting out of the remainder of the 2020 season amid the cancellation of Saturday’s game against Wisconsin, he announced on Twitter Wednesday.

Bateman initially opted out prior to the start of the season, but opted back in once the Big Ten returned to play. He said on Twitter that he will begin to focus on the next stage of his career.

Bateman is projected to be a first round pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Bateman will finish the season with 36 grabs for 472 yards and two touchdowns. He was leading the team in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

Minnesota’s game against Wisconsin on Saturday was canceled amid a rise in COVID-19 cases within the program. On Tuesday, the athletics department announced that nine student-athletes and six staff members had tested positive within the last five days.

The Gophers are scheduled to be back on the field on Dec. 5 when they take on Northwestern. Minnesota’s next game will remain up in the air as Big Ten protocols call for a 21 day hiatus following a positive COVID-19 test result.