The New England Patriots have had a tough 5-7 days, and next week isn’t looking much better at this point.
More COVID-19-Related Reschedulings
The Patriots were originally scheduled to take on the Denver Broncos on Sunday, but much like this week, the game has been rescheduled for the following evening.
Last week, starting quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19 and the matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs was moved from Sunday to Monday night. The Patriots lost that game 36-20.
The following day, star cornerback and reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Stephon Gilmore tested positive for COVID-19.
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Stephon Gilmore has tested positive for COVID-19. He took to Twitter on Wednesday to address fans about his status. #Patriots #NewEnglandPatriots #CamNewton #StephonGilmore #DevinMcCourty #JasonMcCourty #PatrickChung #BrandonBolden #LawrenceGuy #ChaseWinovich #JoshUche #KyleDugger #JoeThuney #JamesHarris #LamarMiller #JarrettStidham #AdamButler #JJTaylor #DevinAsiasi #DaltonKeene #JulianEdelman #NKealHarry #MohamedSanu #DavidAndrews #BillBelichick #RobertKraft #AFCEast #AFC #NFL
No other Patriots player has tested positive on Wednesday or Thursday, so the NFL has officially rescheduled the Week 5 clash with the Broncos for Monday night.
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The NFL posted this message on social media on Thursday night. ESPN's Tim Legwold wrote the following summary: "The Denver Broncos' game against the New England Patriots has been moved from Sunday to Monday at 5 p.m. ET as part of an ESPN doubleheader, the NFL announced Thursday. The game was originally scheduled for Sunday — a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff — in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and the Broncos' players were informed of the move to Monday after Thursday afternoon's practice. The Patriots have not practiced and their facility was closed both Wednesday and Thursday after quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore were moved to the team's reserve/COVID-19 list. While there were no new positive tests after Thursday morning's testing, the Patriots (2-2) are taking additional precautions and will continue to prepare with virtual meetings and no practice again Friday, a team official told ESPN's Adam Schefter. The Broncos (1-3) and Patriots (2-2) will play in the earlier game Monday, only a few hours before the Los Angeles Chargers and New Orleans Saints meet at 8:15 p.m. ET. Denver television station 9News first reported the move to Monday. #Patriots #NewEnglandPatriots #CamNewton #StephonGilmore #DevinMcCourty #JasonMcCourty #JoshMcDaniels #JCJackson #LawrenceGuy #ChaseWinovich #JoshUche #KyleDugger #JoeThuney #JamesWhite #DamienHarris #JarrettStidham #AdamButler #JJTaylor #DevinAsiasi #DaltonKeene #JulianEdelman #NKealHarry #GunnerOlszewski #DavidAndrews #BillBelichick #RobertKraft #AFCEast #AFC #NFL
Will the Patriots Be Prepared?
Gilmore’s positive test has kept the Patriots off the practice field Wednesday and Thursday, and the team will not practice on Friday.
Per Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald, the Patriots have been and will continue to work remotely with hopes of practicing on Saturday ahead of the game on Monday.
Source confirms the #Patriots will work remotely again tomorrow and hold virtual meetings. The hope is to practice on Saturday.
— Andrew Callahan (@_AndrewCallahan) October 8, 2020
Needless to say, that is far from ideal. The Broncos aren’t going to be mistaken for the Chiefs anytime soon, but they’re still an NFL team that hasn’t had their practice schedule disrupted nearly as much.
However, they are apparently angered by the rescheduling that will essentially bring their Week 5 and 6 games uncomfortably close together. Defensive lineman Shelby Harris took to Twitter to voice his displeasure:
Why are we getting punished when we did nothing wrong. Pats go on a bye next week and we are stuck on a short week playing the dolphins help it make sense
— Shelby Harris (@ShelbyHarris93) October 8, 2020
He has a point, but it would seem the Patriots are the team being placed in the toughest situation. Not only will they potentially be without their best players on both sides of the ball, but they also have to prepare for an angry, fired-up foe that will have practiced and prepared an extra day for the matchup.
The Patriots could also carry some level of anxiety onto the field as the entire team hopes to avoid an outbreak similar to the one that ripped through the Tennessee Titans organization.
It’s not an ideal setup for anyone involved, but barring more positive tests from either team, the game will take place on Monday.
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