BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots now have four players who have tested positive for COVID-19, which caused a pretty big ripple effect throughout the NFL. But the team doesn’t believe they have a COVID outbreak in Gillette Stadium, according to a new report.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, it seems like the Patriots are placing the blame for their most recent positive test on the NFL. And they have a pretty good argument on that front, too.
Defensive Tackle Byron Cowart tested positive over the weekend, which prompted the NFL to close New England’s facilities and shuffle the team’s Week 5 matchup with the Denver Broncos to next weekend, which led to a lot more schedule shuffling for a handful of teams throughout the season. The Patriots believe that’s all on the NFL, after they were forced to travel to Kansas City and play the Chiefs last Monday night despite quarterback Cam Newton’s positive test just two days prior.
In the days after that road trip, cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive, which was pretty big news considering he played 100 percent of New England’s defensive snaps against the Chiefs. The Patriots shut down their facilities after that positive test, and they did not hold an in-person practice until Saturday.
So the team believes Cowart caught the virus during the trip to Kansas City — not at Gillette.
“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Patriots don’t believe Saturday’s positive result generated by Byron Cowart happened at the facility, since the team wasn’t there from Friday, October 2 through Friday, October 9,” reported Florio. “The team believes that Cowart could have caught it from teammate Stephon Gilmore (who caught it away from work at dinner with Cam Newton) in the ‘dinky’ locker room in Kansas City last Monday night, or that he caught it away from the facility.”
The Patriots had requested a bigger locker room for their quick trip to Kansas City, a request the NFL denied. The team wasn’t too happy with the league for making them play that game in the first place, and now it seems like the Patriots are pushing any blame for a potential outbreak onto the NFL.