While spirits were mostly high following the Kansas City Chiefs’ 26-10 victory over the New England Patriots on Monday night, there is now some uneasiness in the air.
With COVID-19 slowly starting to impact teams around the NFL, the defending champions remained largely unaffected prior to a positive test from backup QB Jordan Ta’amu, in addition to Patriots QB Cam Newton, on October 3. Despite that, the league pushed the game out one day and moved forward after all players on both teams tested negative for the virus leading up to kickoff.
Unfortunately, another Patriots star, CB Stephon Gilmore, has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 less than 48 hours after posting three tackles and a forced fumble against the Chiefs, according to ESPN Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss on Wednesday morning.
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Patrick Mahomes, Gilmore Shared Postgame Hug on Monday
Perhaps most worrisome of the Chiefs organization and its fans, Gilmore and MVP QB Patrick Mahomes were seen in close contact following the game, even sharing an embrace, as pointed out by Boston Globe senior NFL writer Ben Volin and NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk account.
As one of the league’s brightest stars, Mahomes is the biggest name involved, however Gilmore was in direct contact with an unknown number of Chiefs players as one of only four Patriots players to be on the field for 100% of the team’s 56 defensive snaps.
Chiefs Players, Staff Test Negative on Tuesday Night
Thankfully for Kansas City, there have been no additional positive COVID-19 tests as of Wednesday morning, according to NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero. The results were returned from the latest round of team testing on Tuesday night.
The team is still expected to practice today, under more strict protocols including mandatory PPE for all players. Expect additional testing results and updates from the league in the coming days.
Even with New England in the rearview mirror, Kansas City is not out of hot water yet. Their next opponent, the Las Vegas Raiders, also recently reported its first positive COVID-19 test, placing DL Maurice Hurst on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday.
ESPN’s Dianna Russini is also reporting on Wednesday morning that a second Raiders player has tested positive for the coronavirus. This news comes less than one day after 10 Las Vegas players were fined for violating COVID-19 protocols, including TE Darren Waller who received a fine of $30,000.