Despite three new additions to their COVID-19/reserve list, the New England Patriots are still slated to play the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
Conducting the 2020 NFL season in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic was always going to be a daunting task. Just ask the New England Patriots. The AFC East team saw stars Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore test positive for COVID-19 and had their Week 5 matchup against the Denver Broncos postponed to this weekend. A day before the game, the Patriots revealed more news on the COVID-19 front.
The Patriots placed running back Sony Michel, offensive guard Shaq Mason and defensive end Derek Rivers on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday. According to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, none of the three players has tested positive for the coronavirus. It’s important to note that the reserve list is for those who have either received a positive test result or have come into close contact with someone who tested positive.
Reserve list additions come a day after Patriots cancel practice
On Friday, the Patriots canceled team practice after receiving a positive test result. That same day, the team placed center James Ferentz on the reserve list.
In response to these roster moves, the Patriots elevated offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch from their practice squad. The team also listed receiver Isaiah Zuber, defensive end Rashod Berry and defensive tackle Nick Thurman as COVID-19 replacements for Week 6.
Besides the Patriots, the Broncos revealed that running backs coach Curtis Modkins tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. Modkins has entered self-isolation and will not travel with the team to New England.
Despite the latest additions to the reserve list, the Patriots are still slated to face the Broncos on Sunday afternoon. Both teams lost their original bye weeks to compensate for the postponement. The NFL is trying to avoid a “Week 18” scenario, but if more positive test results are received, reshuffling games will be even more challenging.