Illinois and Purdue will meet Saturday without some of their biggest players. Shortly before the noon kickoff, Purdue announced that star wide receiver Rondale Moore would not be available. It's the second straight game Moore has been ruled out. No reason was given for the decision, which follows his opening-week absence against Iowa

Additionally, Illinois announced that starting quarterback Brandon Peters and tight end Griffin Moore are sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. Per Big Ten coronavirus protocols, both players will be out for three weeks for recovery. A statement from the university also noted that contact tracing will sideline several other players for both the game against the Boilermakers and the Nov. 7 game against Minnesota. Among them is backup quarterback Isaiah Williams

Both losses are big. Peters was one of the few bright spots in a 45-7 loss to Wisconsin, accounting for 162 of Illinois' 218 total yards of offense in that game. Moore, obviously, can be the best player on the field when he's available. Why he hasn't been able to play has remained a mystery. If he misses any more games, it could develop into one of the biggest stories not only in the Big Ten, especially given his decision to opt back into the season.