By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
UPDATE: Since this story was published, the NFL announced that the game between the Patriots and Broncos is being postponed. According to multiple reports, it will be played next Sunday.
ESPN's Adam Schefter cryptically reported Sunday morning that the Patriots' facilities were being shut down. He later confirmed that the Patriots had a new positive test for COVID-19, which prompted the shutdown and put the status of their game against the Denver Broncos in question.
The NFL is still planning on playing Monday's game as of Sunday morning, per Schefter. But further testing is being conducted and the league is expecting to have those results back later on Sunday. The Broncos were expected to travel to New England Sunday, but now that is also uncertain.
The Patriots reopened their facilities and practiced on Saturday. Head coach Bill Belichick made the decision earlier this week to shut team facilities down while further testing was conducted. The Patriots had three straight days of no positives before the new positive test came up from Saturday's round of testing.
"We have to make the decisions and I feel like I have to make decisions on what’s best for our football team. What’s best for our football team is the health and safety of our team. That’s our No. 1 priority," Belichick said Saturday. "So, without that, we don’t have a team. We have to maintain the integrity of not only our football team, but also the extended team – our families and the loved ones for every member of our team. That’s got to come first. I think everybody recognizes that, feels the same way and we’ll have to work maybe a little bit harder to make up for some of the on-the-field practice time that we’ve missed this week, but we can’t compromise the health, safety and well-being of our football team, including our staff."
As of this writing, the NFL is still planning to forge ahead with Monday's game between the Patriots and Broncos. But we'll be sure to keep you updated on that game and whether it gets 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].