By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Monday's scheduled game between the Patriots and Broncos has been postponed yet again. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the game will take place next Sunday.
New England was set to have its bye week during Week 6. Instead, the Patriots and Broncos both get a Week 5 bye, the NFL announced Sunday.
"The decision was made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts," the league's statement said.
The Broncos were scheduled to play the Miami Dolphins in Week 6. So that game will also need to be rescheduled. The Broncos practiced all week under the impression that they would play the Patriots on Monday, but it turned out to be their bye week.
The Patriots also reopened their facilities and practiced on Saturday. One team employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, which prompted the team to close the facilities back down on Sunday, as well as the Patriots-Broncos game to be postponed for the second time.
Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty ripped into the NFL for its handling of the COVID-19 situation on Saturday, questioning its commitment to the health and safety of players and team personnel.
"For us in this locker room, this is what we have. Between the players, the coaches, the administration, the staff, it is up to us to take care of one another, to make sure physically we are all set, make sure mentally because I think outside of here the people that don’t have to walk in our building — whether it is the league office, whether it is the NFLPA — they don’t care," McCourty said. "We’re trying to get games played and we’re trying to get the season going. For them, it is not about our best interest, or our healthy and safety, it is about what can we make protocol-wise that sounds good, looks good and how can we go out there and play games.
"I think what I kind of learned personally throughout this situation is it is going to be up to us as individuals in this building to just really take care of one another."
The hope, now, is that the Patriots get the COVID-19 situation under control inside their own facilities. For the NFL, the hope is they begin to take their own protocols even more seriously, and perhaps consider extending the 2020 schedule to accommodate more games being postponed.
Alex Barth and I discussed the report that Jarrett Stidham is in line to start against the Broncos, as well as the Patriots and NFL's handling of the COVID-19 situation. Have a listen below.
Ty Anderson also talked plenty of Patriots with me on this week's episode of the Sports Hub Sidelines podcast. You can listen to the full podcast below. Patriots talk starts at 39:38.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at [email protected].