Another week, another postponed game for the NFL.
This time, the affected teams are the Patriots and Broncos, whose Week 5 game has reportedly been postponed six days because of COVID-19 issues in New England.
The Patriots reopened their facilities on Saturday after two players tested positive for the coronavirus. It was the first time the team had been together since their loss to the Chiefs on Monday. But a report from CBS Sports reporter Jason La Canfora states New England produced yet another positive early Sunday, necessitating the postponement of their game against the Broncos in Gillette Stadium.
MORE: NFL COVID-19 case tracker
The NFL announced the postponement on Twitter early Sunday. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the game, originally scheduled for Monday afternoon, will be moved to Sunday, Oct. 18. The Patriots have a bye that week, though the Broncos will have to reschedule their previously scheduled meeting against the Dolphins that week.
Broncos-Patriots game is being moved to next Sunday, sources tell ESPN.
Broncos were supposed to play Miami; that won’t happen. That game is being rescheduled.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 11, 2020
This is the second time the Patriots have had to reschedule their Week 5 game against the Broncos; the league previously announced the teams would play on Monday as part of a doubleheader with the “Monday Night Football” matchup between the Saints and Chargers. New England also played the previous Monday, losing to Andy Reid and the Chiefs alongside the “MNF” matchup between the Packers and Falcons.
Quarterback Cam Newton was the Patriots player to produce a positive coronavirus ahead of New England’s Week 4 game vs. the Chiefs. All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore and practice squad defensive tackle Bill Murray also tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, followed by the latest positive test on Sunday.
The Broncos have not had any issues with the coronavirus.
Here’s what you need to know about the Patriots’ current situation:
Will the Patriots play in Week 5?
The NFL confirmed that the Patriots and Broncos both will have a bye during Week 5 because of New England’s issues with the coronavirus. The league declined to list a make-up date for the game, though Schefter reported it will be moved to Week 6, originally scheduled to be a bye for New England.
The Patriots have not met since the Week 4 loss to the Chiefs on Monday: Belichick shut the team’s facilities down after Gilmore tested positive for the virus following the team’s return from Kansas City. Saturday’s meeting would have been the only practice the Patriots had ahead of their game against the Broncos.
Will the Broncos play in Week 5?
The Broncos will not play in Week 5. Reports suggest they will make up the game against the Patriots in Week 6. Because of that, Denver will be forced to reschedule its game against the Dolphins, who were scheduled to visit Mile HIgh Stadium that week.