The New England Patriots aren’t going to let the NFL push them into Week 5 against the Denver Broncos after another positive test.
The next time the Patriots and Broncos are actually able to take the field together, Cam Newton may very well be available.
Heck, Drew Lock could play, too, at this rate.
If the NFL’s tragic experiment seemed to be facing adversity last week, when the Tennessee Titans outbreak forced cancellation of their game and Patriots-Chiefs was, in a moment of poor judgment, moved only to Monday, Week 5 has been an all-new sort of reckoning.
The Titans, of course, have received another positive test on the coaching staff on Sunday, and will likely not be playing the Bills this week. And after the NFL claimed every Patriot testing negative on a few rapid exams was enough justification for Week 4, but didn’t provide enough comfort to have them travel together on the same plane, we now have a new positive in New England. The team facility will once again be shut down.
Logically, any one of us could’ve predicted that after Cam Newton, the center of all things Patriots, tested positive, that we would soon see a growing swarm.
First, it was practice squad DE Bill Murray. Then, of course, DPOY Stephon Gilmore, who had dinner with Newton prior to his fateful test.
Now, we’ve gotten an additional report. At least, this time, the NFL has made what should’ve been an easy call. Patriots-Broncos will be bumped to Week 6, the Pats will get their bye a week early, and the Broncos and Miami Dolphins may never get to play their matchup scheduled for 10/18.
Prior to the NFL’s decision, it was clear the team was not comfortable with being unilaterally forced into a matchup in Foxborough.
Rumblings out of the locker room, including some on-the-record statements from Jason McCourty, made it clear the Pats wouldn’t be susceptible to the league’s whims.
When rumors leaked on Sunday morning that the game on Monday was inexplicably still on, James White made it clear he was among the dissenters who wanted the NFL to reevaluate.
For now, the NFL has at last made the correct decision regarding this singular game.
But whether its protocols are enough to stabilize outbreaks in places where teams are both disobedient (Nashville) and theoretically buckled down still has not been determined. It’s certainly trending in the opposite direction.