FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The Patriots and Broncos game will be pushed back a week, the NFL announced on Sunday.
The NFL announced that the game would be Sunday, Oct. 18, at 1 p.m. on WPRI 12.
This comes as a fourth member of the Patriots reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday, prompting the team to again shut down their facility.
The facility was closed all week prior to the team’s first practice on Saturday.
The Patriots and Broncos game was initially pushed back to Monday night. This past week will now serve as the Patriots’ bye week on the schedule. The Patriots will likely keep their facility closed until the team returns to normal game-week routine on Wednesday.
The NFL released a statement on the postponement of Monday evening’s game:
The Denver Broncos at New England Patriots game scheduled for Monday, October 12, at 5 p.m. ET has been postponed. Details on a new game date and time will be announced shortly. Both teams will now have a Week 5 bye. This decision was made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts.
Just yesterday, the Patriots opened their facility for the first in-person practice in a week.
This latest positive case makes it the fourth for the team in the last eight days.
On Saturday morning, Bill Belichick spoke to the media and says the team’s quarterback plan for Monday night’s against the Broncos is “day by day.” Belichick said he did not anticipate Cam Newton or Stephon Gilmore to practice Saturday. Both players recently tested positive for COVID-19.
“This year there’s been less of a routine. We’re in a different time,” Belichick said.
The team’s game with the Broncos was moved from Sunday to Monday earlier in the week.
Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the game will air on ESPN.
It’s the second consecutive week the Patriots have had their game pushed back as a result of positive coronavirus tests.
Earlier this week, cornerback Stephon Gilmore was placed on the team’s COVID-19 reserve list. The team hasn’t practiced in person all week, and they’re not expected to hit the field until Saturday.
Pushing back the start time may enable Gilmore or quarterback Cam Newton to join the team. Per the league’s rules, if they are asymptomatic and have two negative tests on consecutive days, they can rejoin the team.
12 Sports has you covered through game day, starting with the live New England Nation Pregame Show at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on Fox Providence. Yianni Kourakis, Morey Hershgordon, Rosie Langello and Andy Gresh will dissect the matchup and get you ready for kickoff.
The last time the Broncos came to Gillette Stadium was in November 2014, when the Patriots beat them 43-21.
Below are some notes and quotes from the past week at Patriots headquarters:
- If New England wins, they will improve upon the NFL’s best regular season home record since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002. The Patriots enter Week 5 with a 123- 23 (.841) record in regular season games and a 142-27 (.840) overall mark in Foxboro.
- If a Patriots player eclipses 100 yards rushing, the team will improve to 53-2 since the 2000 season when a player rushes for at least 100 yards.
- And if the team is able to not commit a turnover, New England will win its 70th game since 2008 without committing a turnover. The Patriots enter Week 5 with a 69-9 record in zero- turnover games since 2008.
Bill Belichick on closing the team’s facilities: “We made the decision to close the facility for the health and safety of our team. That’s always priority number one. We have continued our preparations for Denver with virtual calls and we’ll just kind of take the situation day by day. When we feel that it’s safe for everyone to come back, then we will do that.
“Obviously, I’m sure you have a lot of questions, I have a lot of questions, we all have questions and this is really more of a medical situation than a football situation, so we will work through the decisions and input from the people in the medical field – a combination of Patriots and league, and people that know the situation, know the virus and the specific circumstances that are involved here, both in the past and going forward. So, it’s not really something I’m going to be able to give much insight on. Again, we have a lot of questions on our end, but for right now, yesterday and today, we are closed and we are going to work virtually to prepare for Denver and just take it day by day. That’s really about the best I can give you – about really all there is, to tell you the truth.”