News of Newton’s positive test broke Saturday morning. Shortly after reports surfaced, the Patriots released a statement.
“Late [Friday] night, we received notice that a Patriots player tested positive for COVID-19. The player immediately entered self-quarantine. Several additional players, coaches and staff who have been in close contact with the player received point of care tests this morning and all were negative for COVID-19,” the statement read.
The Patriots are unable to publicly name the player who tested positive, per the NFL’s rules.
“We are in close consultation with the NFL, as well as our team of independent doctors and specialists, and will follow their guidance regarding our scheduled trip to Kansas City and game against the Chiefs,” the statement said. “The health and safety of our team, as well as our opponent, are of highest priority.”
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the case is isolated, meaning no other Patriots have tested positive as of Saturday morning.
The news comes just a day before the Patriots were scheduled to play the Chiefs in Kansas City, though the game has since been postponed.
Newton is the first high-profile player to miss a game due to COVID-19, and the first Patriots player to test positive since training camp began.
Elsewhere, the NFL is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak in Tennessee, where more players and staff members have tested positive for the virus, leading to the postponement of their game this weekend. On Saturday, one more player and two more staff members tested positive, bringing the total to 16 total people in the Titans organization (eight players, eight staff members) testing positive. The Titans producing more positive tests with each passing day likely contributed to the NFL postponing Sunday’s game out of caution, as some Patriots may have contracted the virus.
As of now, the Patriots have yet to produce an additional positive test.
In a tweet on Saturday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said, “All other Patriots’ tests returned negative tonight, sources tell ESPN.”
All other Patriots’ tests returned negative tonight, source tells ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 4, 2020
The Patriots-Chiefs game, scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday, has now been postponed, with the NFL hoping to play the game Monday or Tuesday.