On Monday, Minnesota reported that at least 47 people in the program -- 21 student-athletes and 26 staff members -- have tested positive for the coronavirus since Nov. 19.
"The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff continues to be our main priority," Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle said in a statement. "The last couple of days have shown a decrease in positive cases, but not to the point where we are able to return to competition.
"We are disappointed not to be able to compete against Northwestern on Saturday, but we need to continue to focus on following all CDC and MDH guidelines and slow the spread of the virus. We will now shift our priority to doing everything possible to compete at Nebraska on December 12, and our decisions will continue to be guided by our medical experts."
Minnesota, which last played Nov. 20 against Purdue, canceled last week's matchup against Wisconsin after pausing all football-related activities on Nov. 24. The Golden Gophers had nine players and six staff members test positive between Nov. 19-23, and that number quickly climbed to 40 by this past Saturday.
This is the first cancellation for Northwestern, which had an opportunity to clinch the Big Ten West Division last week. Michigan State earned a 29-20 win over the Wildcats this past weekend.
Under Big Ten policy this season, the Minnesota-Northwestern game will be ruled a no contest.