FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) ─ The New England Patriots hope to bounce back from their loss against the Denver Broncos as they host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at 4:25 p.m.
It’s already week seven of the NFL season and the month of October for the Patriots has been a whirlwind. In the beginning of the month, Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore both tested positive for the coronavirus. As time went on, more Patriots were put on the COVID-19 reserve list. After rescheduling and moving the Denver Broncos game, the team would only end up practicing twice after two weeks. This week, the Patriots practiced three days in a row before their game against the 49ers.
The last time the Patriots played the 49ers was in 2016 at Levi’s Stadium when they won 30-17. In 2016, Blaine Gabbert was the quarterback for San Fran.
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- Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. Sunday
- Post-Game Coverage: 12 News at 10/11
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will make his return to Foxboro since he was traded on Oct. 31, 2017 to the 49ers for a 2018 second round draft pick. Garoppolo saw two starts in New England in 2016 when Tom Brady was suspended for four games due to the deflate gate scandal.
Since then, Garoppolo has led the 49ers to an NFC Championship and Superbowl 54 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
-Running back James White missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday but it was no injury related per the injury report. He returned to practice on Friday.
-The team gained back six players from the injury reserve list. Center David Andrews, linebacker Josh Uche and defensive tackle Beau Allen. Right guard Shaq Mason, defensive tackle Byron Cowart and linebacker Derek Rivers all returned off the COVID-19 reserve list as well.
Q: What have you seen from Jimmy Garoppolo on tape in the years he’s been with San Francisco? Do you see a similar quarterback?
Bill Belichick: Yeah, well, I think we all know Jimmy’s a quality player and can do all the things that a good quarterback needs to do. He led the 49ers to the NFC Championship last year. We saw a little bit of him at the end of the year last year in preparation for this game and of course the 2020 games that he’s played in, so I don’t think there’s any question about his skill level and what he’s been able to accomplish and what their team’s been able to accomplish. We’ll be ready for his best. I’m sure we’ll get it. He does a lot of things well.
Q: The players expressed excited to be back in the building and on the practice field. How has this week gone in your mind and what has it been like for you and the players to be able to kind of get back on track and focused on football?
Bill Belichick: Yeah, it was great to be able to get back on the field and have a pretty normal week. We had the virtual meetings on Wednesday, but yesterday and today have kind of been our normal Thursday and Friday schedule, and we anticipate doing that going through the weekend. I think we all appreciate that – maybe took it for granted a little bit from the way it was in the past because it was always that way. But, now having experienced the other side of it – you know, players dressing in a bubble and driving home and having to shower and things like that – it’s just a lot of little inconveniences that as a team, players and coaches, that we’ve had that we didn’t have here for a few days. And now that we have them back, I think there’s definitely an appreciation. I know there is. I have it and I know a lot of our players feel it, as well, just to be able to do things on kind of a normal basis. So, that’s been positive for the team and I think their attitude and energy has reflected that.