BOSTON (CBS) — Monday night’s Patriots-Chiefs matchup is on. The Patriots did not have any more positive COVID-19 tests on Monday morning made their way to Kansas City for one busy day of football.
The Chiefs also received the all clear on Monday morning.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 5, 2020
The Patriots made a rare game-day departure for their destination, with the two teams set to play at 7:05 p.m. on Monday evening on CBS. The Patriots departed New England on two different planes leaving two different airports — one from Logan Airport in Boston and one from TF Green in Providence — at around 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning.
Given those tricky Monday morning commutes in Massachusetts, the Patriots received a police escort while on I-93:
Traffic stopped on 93 as #Patriots buses are escorted to the airport. The team is headed to Kansas City for tonight's game. @RochieWBZ reports everything is on track for them to play tonight… "last hurdle will be PCR test results which will come later on today" @wbz pic.twitter.com/1F6rK3zV8b
— Anna Meiler (@AnnaMeiler) October 5, 2020
It looks like a lot of other commuters were a little late to work because of the Patriots, but that’s an excuse most bosses will accept with relative ease around these parts. The Mass State Police said the escort that the Patriots received is part of a regular detail paid for by the team, adding that the lane closure on I-93 only lasted a few minutes.
“The escort of the Patriots’ buses is a regular, longstanding detail paid for by the team to ensure secure transit to the airport, similar to any other paid detail escort for motorcades or specialized material transports. Because we make every effort to minimize disruption to motorists, today’s escort necessitated a lane closure that lasted only approximately three minutes,” Media Communications Director Dave Procopio told WBZ.
Wheels up for Kansas City! #Patriots took 2 planes from 2 separate airports. This is footage from @wpri12 of them boarding the one at TF Green this morning @wbz https://t.co/9GmhLW0O9g pic.twitter.com/iujIXz3ZkI
— Nick Giovanni (@NickGNews) October 5, 2020
One of those planes carried roughly 20 people who had close contact with Newton, while the rest of New England’s traveling party was on the other plane. The Patriots arrived in Kansas City around 11 a.m. CST.
The Patriots will make a three-hour stop at their hotel, according to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, where they’ll rest up and enjoy a team meal before leaving for Arrowhead Stadium. They will return home to New England late Monday night.
The Patriots planes are scheduled to land at MCI at around 11 a.m. CT. Anyone who’s been there knows—It’s a good 35 minutes from that airport to Arrowhead. Kickoff at 6 p.m. CT.
Gonna be one long day for New England.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 5, 2020
The Patriots and the Chiefs were originally scheduled to play Sunday afternoon at 4:25 p.m., but that game was postponed on Saturday after New England quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19. No other Patriots players have tested positive since Newton’s diagnosis.
Backup quarterback Brian Hoyer is set to start in place of Newton. The Patriots are also bringing practice squad quarterback Jake Dolegala with them to K.C., according to NESN’s Doug Kyed. He’ll likely remain on the practice squad unless the Patriots need an emergency quarterback heading into the game.
With Monday night’s game on CBS/WBZ-TV, it will mark the first time that the Patriots will ever play on Monday night on CBS — the first-ever nationally televised Monday night game on the network.