New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, announced on Wednesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
It was reported earlier on Wednesday that Gilmore had tested positive and would be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. According to his Twitter post, he is currently asymptomatic.
Gilmore is the third Patriots player to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, joining teammates Cam Newton and Bill Murray. Newton was placed on the list Saturday and did not play in the Patriots’ 26-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Murray, a practice squad defensive tackle, was placed on the list Tuesday.
The tests the Patriots took before they left Kansas City on Monday night reportedly came back negative.
What happens now?
The Patriots have reportedly canceled their practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but beyond that the team’s future is unknown. At this point, they won’t get back to practicing until the weekend at the absolute earliest.
That leaves Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos in question. While it’s currently scheduled to go forward, the NFL is reportedly evaluating whether it should. Part of that decision will likely hinge on the results of Wednesday’s tests, which the Patriots will receive on Thursday. If they play on Sunday, they’ll likely only have one normal practice to get ready for it. If there are more positive tests and this turns into a full-fledged outbreak, it’s likely that Sunday’s game will have to be rescheduled or perhaps even forfeited depending on the circumstances.
Mahomes being cautious
Gilmore played every single defensive snap against the Chiefs on Monday, and it’s possible that he could have spread the virus to others during the game. The Chiefs have not reported any positive tests since they played the Patriots on Monday, but that doesn’t mean they’re in the clear. The 3-7 day incubation period of COVID-19 means that Chiefs players wouldn’t start testing positive until later in the week, possibly Thursday or Friday.
Gilmore got particularly close to Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes on Monday night.
Put Mahomes in a hermetically sealed bubble please pic.twitter.com/LK62mS3Ei3
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) October 7, 2020
Mahomes said on Wednesday that his hug with Gilmore was a “mental lapse.”
Patrick Mahomes on with Stephon Gilmore after the game: "You just have to trust in the protocols and the process in place. It was a little bit of a mental lapse."
Mahomes said he wanted to show good sportsmanship & obviously didn't know about Gilmore's upcoming positive test.
— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) October 7, 2020
He also said that he has been extra cautious since a Chiefs player tested positive last week, especially since his fiancée is pregnant.
Patrick Mahomes slept in a separate bedroom and stayed away from his pregnant fiancé since a positive test surfaced within the #chiefs.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) October 7, 2020
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