FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on Thursday held a conference call with reporters for the first time since the team’s third positive coronavirus test.
The team has not yet practiced in person this week after their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Monday night and learning that cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive on Wednesday.
“We made the decision to close the facility for the health and safety of our team,” Belichick said Thursday. “That’s always priority number one.”
In terms of his own health, Belichick said he is feeling “great” and doing what he can to coach his team and prepare them for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.
“For right now, we’re closed and we’re going to work virtually to prepare for Denver and just take it day by day,” he said. “That’s really about the best I can give you. That’s really about all there is, to tell you the truth.”
Belichick said this week’s circumstances are more of a medical situation than a football situation, and when they feel like it is safe for everyone to go back, they will do so.
He was also asked whether he was aware of the dinner Gilmore reportedly had with quarterback Cam Newton, who tested positive for the virus over the weekend, before traveling with the team to Missouri.
“All the information involving testing and contacts and everything else, all the information that we had, we processed through medical on our end, medical people in the league and followed the protocols,” Belichick explained.
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“I think we did everything that we could control,” he continued. “I think we did everything properly with the extra plans, extra buses, same-day travel. There are multiple things we can list there.”
When asked if there are a concerns about whether Sunday’s game will be played, Belichick said they are relying on the doctors and people in that field, saying, “they have a big role in making those decisions.”
“We are preparing today like a normal Thursday. Normal in terms of meetings, not normal in terms of practice,” Belichick said. “We can’t do anything from a practice standpoint other than watch film and talk through assignments like we did early this year when we were in virtual meetings.”
According to Boston Globe NFL Writer Ben Volin, a source confirmed that the Patriots had no new positive coronavirus test results from yesterday’s testing.
Belichick was also asked if he had an update on how Newton is feeling.
“I haven’t talked to him in a day, so not sure,” he said. “I don’t have anything current for you.”
Upon learning of Newton’s positive test, the NFL postponed the Patriots-Chiefs game from Sunday afternoon to Monday night.
Newton remains on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list and away from his teammates and coaches, but Belichick said he’s been participating in virtual meetings. Bill Murray, a member of the team’s practice squad, also tested positive earlier this week.