Will the Broncos and Patriots face one another this weekend? And will the NFL play an entire, 16-game schedule this year?
One month into the season and that second question is becoming murkier.
As for Broncos – Patriots, New England narrowly avoided rescheduling their Week 4 game when Cam Newton tested positive last weekend. That game against the Kansas City Chiefs was able to be moved to Monday night, luckily, partly because Newton was the only who tested positive with COVID-19.
This morning, defensive lineman Bill Murray — no, not THAT Bill Murray — and superstar cornerback Stephon Gilmore joined Newton as testing positive for the highly contagious and dangerous novel coronavirus.
That, per Tom Pelissero this morning:
Practice-squad DL Bill Murray was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday. So that makes three #Patriots players on the list since Saturday. First Cam Newton, then Murray, and now Stephon Gilmore.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 7, 2020
So, while the Patriots and NFL hoped it was an isolated incident with Cam only being affected, now three players have been.
What does that mean for the Chiefs, whom Gilmore played against on Monday? No Chiefs players tested positive overnight, but because of the lengthy incubation period for the virus, some still could in the coming days.
The same can be said for Patriots players, who shared huddles, a plane and a locker room with Gilmore.
That means the Broncos – Patriots Week 5 game, which is set to take place at 2:25 pm MT, is now in jeopardy of being played on time. It could be rescheduled and the Broncos still have their bye week, meaning they could possibly make this their new bye week. However, the Pats play that week against the Bills.
The league has made it clear they want to avoid rescheduling games for later weeks, as they were prepared to play New England – Kansas City on Tuesday night before Monday became a possibility due to negative tests.