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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota star wide receiver Rashod Bateman has decided to end his season early out of concern over COVID-19.

His announcement came the day after the Gophers canceled their game against Wisconsin due to a rise in cases within the program. Bateman is a widely projected first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft. He was the Big Ten Receiver of the Year award winner in 2019. Bateman had COVID-19 this summer and initially opted out of his junior season, shortly before the Big Ten shelved fall sports. When the conference enhanced COVID-19 protocols and relaunched the schedule, Bateman rejoined the Gophers.

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