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Stephon Gilmore on COVID-19 experience: ‘It was unfortunate, but I’m past it’

Stephon Gilmore takes down Royce Freeman during the Patriots' loss to the Broncos at Gillette.
Stephon Gilmore takes down Royce Freeman during the Patriots' loss to the Broncos at Gillette.Maddie Meyer/Getty

Analysis: Loss to Broncos underscores the Patriots' lack of help on offense for Cam Newton

Stephon Gilmore reiterated Sunday that he never experienced any COVID-19 symptoms.

The Patriots cornerback, who returned to action in the team’s 18-12 loss to the Denver Broncos, said he was pleased to play but more disappointed with the result than anything related to his own health.

“I feel good,” Gilmore said. “I’m just upset we lost the game. I don’t really care about the situation that happened.”

On Oct. 7, Gilmore shared on social media that he tested positive on Oct. 6 but was asymptomatic. The news came two days after the Patriots lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.

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He returned to practice Thursday, alongside quarterback Cam Newton, as both players were removed from the COVID-IR.

On Sunday, Gilmore registered three tackles in the loss to the Broncos. New England’s defense kept Denver out of the end zone but allowed six field goals.

Gilmore acknowledged it was a difficult stretch leading up to the game, and he called it “a blessing” to be back out there. He said he doesn’t take playing football for granted, noting that the situation was “unfortunate, but I’m past it.”

“It wasn’t easy, but a lot of things in life are not easy,” Gilmore said. “You’ve got to be able to take it on the chin and be ready to play. You can’t hold your head down. You’ve got to be mentally strong and go out there and compete for your teammates.”

Gilmore said it “felt great” to compete. He added that he didn’t feel rusty and doesn’t believe that the lack of practice time should be viewed as an excuse.

Some situations are out of one’s control, and Gilmore reminded himself of that as he navigated an unusual couple of weeks and prepared to play. When asked if he felt anxious to get on the field after the hiatus, Gilmore said that he always feels anxious to play and this week was no different.

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“You’ve got to love it,” Gilmore said. “You’ve got to put your hard work in, and when you do that, that’s what you have to live with. I was just happy to be out there playing the game.”

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