Per the NFL, the league has rescheduled a number of its games after a continued spread of the COVID-19 virus through two teams: the Patriots and Tennessee Titans. Patriots defensive tackle Byron Cowart tested positive on Saturday morning which prompted the NFL to shut down New England’s facility for the third time in 10 days.
As a result, the Patriots vs. Broncos game was now moved to October 18 at 1 pm ET. Here is a look at all of the schedule changes shared by the NFL on Sunday.
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Bye Week Switch for the Patriots
Week 6 was originally supposed to be the Patriots’ bye week, but that has now been changed to Week 5, which is essentially all but over. Some bye week, considering it has been packed with stress and uncertainty. The team has barely practiced and to say their situation has been wrought with distractions is perhaps the biggest possible understatement.
The Switch Works Best for the Broncos
Originally, some Broncos players were upset with the NFL’s rescheduling. Had they played on Monday night, the team would have been in a predicament. Denver would have traveled to New England to play the Patriots, under less-than-ideal circumstances, and then been forced to turn around and face the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Now, the Broncos essentially get a bye in Week 5, and an extra week to prepare for the Patriots.
Previously, they didn’t know which quarterback would start for the Patriots against them. However, head coach Vic Fangio insisted his team was preparing to face Cam Newton, who tested positive for COVID-19 more than a week ago.
As it turns out, Newton would not have been ready to play on Monday if the game hadn’t been rescheduled for a second time.
Looking ahead to next Sunday, there is a higher probability that Newton will be available for that game if he can produce negative test results.
Patriots’ Return to Practice
There is no telling when the Patriots will be able to return to the practice field to prepare for the Broncos. They will have an additional week for film, but without being able to put their gameplan into work on the practice field, they may still be at a disadvantage.
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