The Patriots will play the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs Monday night at Kansas City without their starting quarterback Cam Newton, who tested positive for coronavirus on Friday.
That prompted the Patriots to undergo a wave of testing over the weekend, while the league weighed postponing the Week 4 contest that was scheduled to be played Sunday at 4:25 p.m.
A look at the events that transpired following Newton’s positive test:
Friday, Oct. 2
▪ Newton learned of his positive test late in the evening.
Saturday, Oct. 3
▪ Patriots players reported to Gillette Stadium in the morning for additional testing, consisting of a rapid, point-of-care test and a nasal swab.
▪ News broke that Newton tested positive and would not be available against the Chiefs. Chiefs practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta’amu also tested positive.
▪ The Patriots released a statement that said an unidentified player tested positive and immediately entered self-quarantine.
▪ The Patriots’ point-of-care test results all came back negative.
▪ The team was scheduled to leave for Kansas City at 1 p.m., but their trip was on standby. Later, players were told to leave the facility.
▪ The league announced the Patriots-Chiefs game was postponed, with plans of playing the game Monday or Tuesday.
▪ Newton was placed on the league’s COVID-IR list.
▪ The Patriots’ nasal swab tests came back negative.
▪ The Patriots hosted a virtual team meeting at 7 p.m. to discuss their plans for the next few days.
Sunday, Oct. 4
▪ The Patriots underwent another round of testing.
▪The team hosted another virtual team meeting at 10 a.m.
▪ The NFL announced the Patriots-Chiefs game will kick off at 7:05 p.m. Monday.
▪ Newton offered his first public statement since testing positive, writing on Instagram: “I will never question God’s reasoning; just will always respond with ‘Yes, Lord!!’ I appreciate all the support and well wishes!! I will take this time to get healthy and self-reflect on the other amazing things that I should be grateful for!!”
Monday, Oct. 5
▪ Although typically teams are not tested on game days, the Patriots underwent another round of testing in the morning.
▪ The team departed for Kansas City via two planes: one left Providence at 8:55 a.m. and another left Boston at 9:17 a.m. The latter carried players, coaches, and staffers who had been in close contact with Newton, including coach Bill Belichick.
▪ The Patriots landed in Kansas City early in the afternoon.
▪ The NFL conducted a conference call with all teams to review the league’s coronavirus protocols and requirements. In a memo to all teams, commissioner Roger Goodell said that violations of the protocol that “result in virus spread requiring adjustments to the schedule” will warrant financial and competitive discipline, such as fines, loss of draft pick(s), or forfeiture of game(s).
Nicole Yang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.