Patriots add 3 more players to COVID-19 reserve list, Sunday’s game still on

New England Nation

FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The New England Patriots added three more players to the COVID-19 reserve list on Saturday.

The team also promoted four players to the 53 man roster. Despite the changes, Sunday’s game is still on for 1 p.m.

The Denver Broncos previously announced that their running backs coach, Curtis Modkins, has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not travel with the team when they play the Patriots on Sunday.

“Curtis is currently at home in self-isolation and experiencing no symptoms. We have evaluated close contacts, administered necessary point of care testing (no positive COVID-19 results) and implemented additional health and safety measures at UCHealth Training Center per NFL-NFLPA protocols,” the team said in a statement.

“The Broncos remain in regular communication with the league office, NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills and team medical staff. We will take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our team, opponents and community.”

Earlier Saturday, ESPN’s Field Yates said the Patriots reopened their facility after the team canceled their practice and media availability on Friday amid reports of another positive coronavirus test.

“Patriots practice and media availability today has been cancelled. No further information is available at this time,” Vice President of Media Relations Stacey James wrote in an email.

According to NFL Network, the Patriots plan to place center James Ferentz on the COVID-19/reserve list, making him the fifth member of the team to go on the list in the last two weeks, joining Cam Newton, Stephon Gilmore, Bill Murray and Byron Cowart.

The team was scheduled to take the field at 1 p.m.

As of Friday evening, there was no indication that Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos would be further postponed or canceled.

The game, which was initially supposed to be played last Sunday, was rescheduled for Monday then pushed back a full week due to players testing positive.

Week 6 was the Patriots’ scheduled bye week, but Week 5 retroactively became the team’s unofficial bye due to the postponement.

Players in different position groups worked out at separate times on Wednesday before the team returned to the practice field on Thursday. They were joined by QB Cam Newton and CB Stephon Gilmore who were removed from the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list this week.

It’s unclear at this time whether either player will suit up for Sunday’s game.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the game’s on 12!

Below are some notes and quotes from the past week at Patriots headquarters:

Notes:

  • Bill Belichick enters the week with 275 career regular season wins, putting him third all-time behind Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318)
  • If a Patriots player eclipses 100 yards rushing, the team will improve to 53-2 since the 2000 season when a player rushes for at least 100 yards
  • And if the team is able to not commit a turnover, New England will win its 70th game since 2008 without committing a turnover. The Patriots enter Week 5 with a 69-9 record in zero- turnover games since 2008.

Quotes:

Bill Belichick on how the players are handling the uncertainty and abrupt schedule changes:We’ve been dealing with changes all year, going all the way back to the spring, the start of the offseason program, virtual meetings, OTAs, minicamp, training camp. So, I think we all have gone through this year with a very flexible attitude and understanding that things are going to change and we’re going to have to make adjustments.

I think that the players, the coaches, the staff, that everybody’s handled it pretty well. I mean, whatever we’ve had to do, we’ve done. We’ve tried to make the best out of our opportunities, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do. We know we’re going to have to be fluid and flexible. I don’t think that’s going to change, and so we’ll just kind of take it day by day and do the best we can with each opportunity that we get. If we have to change off our normal routine – with what’s been normal this year, let’s put it that way – then we’ll do that. But, look, that’s the way the whole year has gone, so I don’t think it will be any different.

Belichick on whether the team has any input on games being postponed:That’s not really something that I think any individual team has a lot of input on. There’s so many factors involved there. A number of games had to be rescheduled or readjusted and that gets into scheduling and dealing with other teams, as well. So, I think that the league did the best that they could to try to work out the schedule where everybody could play their games and there would be as little disruption as possible. How that affected the teams that were involved is really a decision that they would make based on multiple factors, many of which I’m not even aware of. So, I think they’ve done a good job of trying to, in our case, just assess what the situation is here, but then whatever the scheduling decisions are, that’s not something that we have any control over, especially in a situation like this where you have multiple games involved in a schedule adjustment.

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