Jack Dempsey/Associated Press
The NFL has moved the Denver Broncos’ Week 5 matchup against the New England Patriots to Monday night due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Originally slated for a 4:25 p.m ET kickoff Sunday, the game is now the early contest of a Monday doubleheader. It’s the second week in a row the Patriots have seen their kickoff moved with Week 3’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs also shifted to Monday due to concerns over COVID-19.
.@NFL Week 5 Schedule Changes: https://t.co/BIoJmH1yGc https://t.co/jqpU2AoLln
News9’s Mike Klis notes the decision was made by NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills.
The Patriots have seen two of their most important players land on the Reserve/COVID-19 list in the last week with quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore testing positive. Bill Murray, a defensive tackle on the team’s practice squad, has also received a positive test.
New England is the third team to experience a COVID-19 outbreak following the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans. The Titans are still dealing with a number a players who have tested positive, and the status of their Week 5 matchup against the Buffalo Bills remains uncertain.
Last week’s loss to Kansas City was moved back one day to allow for New England to conduct further testing, yet Gilmore didn’t present positive until after playing in the game.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Patriots had no new positive tests as of Thursday morning, but are continuing to meet virtually to avoid potential exposure. The team will not practice on Friday, either.
The Denver Broncos have not had a player test positive since the season began.
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