New England Patriots

Jan 20, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; A New England Patriots helmet rest on the sidelines during the first quarter of the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

By Alex Barth,

UPDATE: The Washington Post’s Mark Maske is reporting the Patriots had just one positive test.

Here we go again.

25 minutes before the Patriots were due to practice on Friday, the team canceled practice and media availability for the rest of the day.

Following that announcement, ESPN’s Mike Reiss and Field Yates reported that the cancelation was due to at least one positive COVID test, with another possible positive being confirmed. It’s not yet known which players are involved.

According to CLNS Media’s Evan Lazar, the team learned of the positive test last night. They could have held practice under the NFL’s COVID guidelines, but Bill Belichick chose to shut the facility down.

These would be the Patriots’ fifth and potentially sixth positive tests since their first (Cam Newton) on October 2. The most recent was Byron Cowart on October 11.

The Patriots have been highly cautious since Newton first tested positive three weeks ago. Thursday’s practice was the first full session the team has had since October 2. Players have been visiting the facility in position groups, spaced out throughout the day, to limit exposure.

As of now, the Patriots are still scheduled to host the Broncos Sunday at 1. That game is already on it’s third scheduled date, after Cowart’s positive test pushed it from Sunday to Monday last week. With both teams already past their bye and seven other games shuffled to accommodate, the NFL could be handcuffed if the Patriots can’t go in two days.

This is a developing story. Tune into 98.5 The Sports Hub, listen on the 98.5 app, and keep checking for updates.

Click here for 98.5 The Sports Hub’s complete coverage of the Patriots

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at