So far, so good for the New England Patriots in their return from a COVID-19 hiatus.
The Patriots returned for a full practice on Thursday for the first time since team facilities were shut down following an outbreak within the team. And they did so with Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore, who were both previously on the COVID-19/reserve list.
Newton’s return was expected after his activation from the list on Wednesday. Gilmore’s status wasn’t clear — at least publicly — until Thursday. Now, the Patriots are slated to take on the Denver Broncos Sunday with their starting quarterback and the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year on the field.
1 Patriots player left on COVID-19/reserve list
Practice squad defensive tackle Bill Murray also returned to practice on Thursday from the COVID-19/reserve list, The Providence Journal reports. Defensive tackle Byron Cowart is now New England’s lone player on the COVID-19/reserve list.
“It felt good to have everyone back out there as a team just to practice,” cornerback Jonathan Jones told reporters. “You miss having those guys out there. They’re a big part of what we do. Just having them out there today definitely felt different.”
It’s obvious good news for the Patriots on multiple fronts. In addition to having their two most important players back in action, it appears that they have gotten through a COVID-19 outbreak that forced the postponement of their game against the Broncos that was originally scheduled for Week 5.
The Patriots have played well with Newton under center this season. But he missed Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs after being placed on the COVID-19/reserve list, and New England turned the ball over four times in a 26-10 loss with Bryan Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham playing quarterback.
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