WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The New England Patriots have touched down in Kansas City for their Monday night showdown with the defending Super Bowl champions.
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Upon arrival, the Patriots were able to relax briefly at the hotel before making their way over to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Chiefs.
The Patriots reportedly traveled in two planes: one carrying players who have had close contact with quarterback Cam Newton, and the other carrying the rest of the team.
One plane departed from T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, while the other left from Boston Logan International Airport. It is unclear who will board which plane.
The Patriots’ PCR overnight test results all came back negative Monday morning, according to ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter.
The game was rescheduled to Monday night after the NFL announced players on both the Patriots and the Chiefs tested positive for the coronavirus.
On Saturday, the Patriots said there was a single player who tested positive — reports indicated it was quarterback Cam Newton, who has since been placed on the COVID-19 reserve list, which is for players who have tested positive or have been potentially exposed.
Reports also said that Chiefs practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta’amu tested positive.
Further testing of players and personnel on both teams returned no new positives from Saturday and Sunday testing, according to the NFL.
Since Patriots players don’t normally fly to a game on game day, it has Sports Medicine Doctor Jessica Flynn from Lahey Clinic raising a concern.
“I think it’s pushing it,” she said. “I really do think it’s a little too soon for them to all be gathering, even though it is two planes, I just think it’s too soon for them to be flying to another city and playing another team, just not knowing where these positive tests are going to go.”
The team typically does what’s called the “gold standard” coronavirus test, which takes 12-24 hours to turn around. But on Monday, Flynn says the team will have the rapid point of care test, which is a little less sensitive.
Flynn says the rapid tests might not pick up as many cases, but is the only way the Patriots could be tested to determine if they could board the plane and play Monday night.
Newton broke the silence since reports of his positive test by posting a photo of himself on Instagram on Sunday with a mask around his chin.
“I never will question God’s reasoning, just will always respond with ‘YES LORD!!'” Newton wrote. “I appreciate all the love, support, and WELL WISHES!!”
On Monday, the team revealed that RB Sony Michel would also miss the game due to a quad injury.