Patriots cancel practice, positive COVID-19 test

Sports

A passer-by walks past a New England Patriots football team logo near the Patriots ProShop at Gillette Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. The NFL has postponed the Denver Broncos-New England Patriots game due to another positive coronavirus test with the Patriots. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(AP) — The New England Patriots canceled practice Friday after a member of the organization tested positive for COVID-19, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team and the NFL did not announce the positive test, did not reveal if it involved a player or a coach.

New England already twice had the original Week 5 matchup against Denver postponed following four positive coronavirus tests by players, including quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore. The game is scheduled for Sunday in Foxborough, Mass., but now could be in jeopardy.

Earlier Friday, the Indianapolis Colts closed their practice facility after “several individuals” tested positive for COVID-19, then the retests came back negative and the building reopened.

“Earlier this morning, we were informed that four individuals within the organization tested positive for COVID-19,” the team said in a late-morning statement. “The four positive samples were retested and have been confirmed negative.

“After consultation with the NFL and chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills, the team will open the practice facility this afternoon under the league’s intensive protocol and will continue preparation for Sunday’s game against Cincinnati.”

In other NFL coronavirus developments:

  • The Cleveland Browns, who played the Colts on Sunday, had zero positive tests Friday morning and their building is open. The negatives included one for star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who was ill and sent home Thursday.
  • The Atlanta Falcons on Friday resumed in-person work at their facility under more stringent safety measures. The team had closed the building Thursday following a second positive test for COVID-19.

“Just with the intensive regulations, the mask protocol is in high effect,” interim head coach Raheem Morris said. “We have to do some of those different type of deals. Masks on the field, player separation on the field. The in-person meetings only in two areas: The team meeting room and the indoor facility. All of those things we had to implement.

“Coaches meetings all virtual or in one of those two facilities as well. Just taking ultimate precaution in these times of uncertainty, especially when you’re talking about the COVID. Everything dealing with the disease and the COVID and what we’ve got to deal with I will follow to the highest and protect the team at all costs, even if it means shutting down a practice like yesterday.”

The Falcons are under the NFL’s supplemental intensive protocols as they regroup for Sunday’s game at Minnesota.

Rookie defensive tackle Marlon Davidson was placed on the COVID-19/reserve list Tuesday and the second person, who is not a player, subsequently tested positive.

The additional protocols the Falcons must follow include daily testing and masks worn at all times. Meetings must be held virtually or outdoors or in a large indoor room with 6-foot social distancing.

  • The Tennessee Titans played Tuesday following a 16-day layoff because of an outbreak.

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