The morning after their star cornerback Stephon Gilmore went on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the New England Patriots received some good news. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss and NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport, the Patriots had no new positives from Wednesday’s round of COVID-19 tests.
The #Patriots had no new positive tests today, I’m told. They are working remotely, for at least one more round of COVID-19 tests.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 8, 2020
The Patriots currently have three players on the reserve/COVID-19 list: Gilmore, practice squad DT Bill Murray, and quarterback Cam Newton. Murray was placed on the list Tuesday, while Newton was placed on the list last Saturday. It is not known whether Murray or Newton tested positive, as the reserve/COVID-19 is for players who have been exposed as well as tested positive.
Gilmore’s positive test on Wednesday caused the closure of the Patriots’ facility and the cancellation of practice. All players, coaches, trainers, and other game-related personnel were instructed to work virtually on both Wednesday and Thursday, but they will all come to the facility to receive their daily COVID-19 test.
What does this mean for Pats vs. Broncos?
On Wednesday, the NFL didn’t make any announcement about New England’s game on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the league was continuing to evaluate the situation, likely waiting to find out if there were more positive tests on the Patriots. No positives on Wednesday is a step toward the game going forward as planned.
Just because there were no positives from Wednesday’s tests doesn’t mean the team is out of the woods. The results of Thursday’s tests are just as important as Wednesday’s results. Due to the 3-7 day incubation period of COVID-19, it’s entirely possible that additional Patriots players or staff could test positive, even after a full day of negative tests.
The Patriots and the league won’t know until Friday whether more Patriots players or staff have tested positive. If they do, the team facility will likely remain closed and Sunday’s game could be in doubt. But if they don’t, it’s possible that the facility could reopen and practice could resume over the weekend.
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