The New England Patriots conducted individual tests for COVID-19 and no new positives were detected on Thursday.
New England’s team headquarters remains off limits and the Patriots could be cleared to practice as soon as Friday afternoon, ESPN reported.
However, the Week 5 game against the Denver Broncos remains uncertain.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said “health and safety” are the only priorities for the team this week.
“There’s nothing more important than the health of the team,” Belichick said. “I mean, without a healthy team, you don’t have a team. So, that’s priority No. 1. I’d say, not only for our team but also for their families and people that are close to them. So, that’s always our No. 1 concern. And we’ll try to do everything we can to make that the best that we can make it. That’s the way it’s always been. That’s not going to change. So, whatever we have to do to do that, then that will be what we do. We always approach it that way. This is different but it’s really based on the same criteria.”
Belichick said the Patriots closely followed NFL protocol when determining how to transport Cam Newton’s close contacts to Kansas City last week.
The Patriots took two aircraft to Kansas City and played the Chiefs later Monday night. One plane included 20 players and staff traced as “close contacts” to Newton.
That included cornerback Stephon Gilmore, whose day-after-game test Tuesday was positive for COVID-19. He said Wednesday he’s asymptomatic and might be cleared to play in Week 5.
“I did feel like we did everything that we — that we can control,” Belichick said. “I think we did everything properly with the extra plane, the extra buses, the same-day travel, etc., etc. There’s multiple things we could list there. In terms of individual, specific questions, I’d say all of those get thrown into the general medical field.”
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)