CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The highly anticipated matchup with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots has been postponed after players on both teams tested positive for COVID-19.
According to ESPN, the game will be played this week on Monday so long as no other players test positive.
However, the one-day delay won’t help Newton return to the field, he’s now sidelined for a minimum of 10 days. The Patriots said that several additional players, coaches and staff who were in close contact with Newton have tested negative.
There is still immense doubt surrounding Sunday’s entire slate of football games with one game between the Titans and Steelers already postponed to a later bye week. A positive test result on the New Orleans Saints team plane also has the Saints and Lions matchup in jeopardy.
The Patriots named 34-year-old Brian Hoyer as the starter in the meantime.
The uncertainty surrounding Sunday’s games wasn’t unexpected. While neither the Chiefs nor Patriots anticipated dealing with the scenario themselves, both coaches said leading up to the weekend that they had protocols in place that they believed in.
Patriots Coach Bill Belichick praised Newton Friday for his willingness to interact with as many people as he could at the facility as the quarterback finds his place among the roster, “‘He’s here a lot, he’s in the building and he’s visible, he’s in sight and is connecting with people as much as any player. He’s in the building more than any player on the team, but he spends a lot of time talking and connecting and building relationships with those people.”
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said Saturday he was impressed by his team’s protocols, “I feel like Rickty and his staff and the whole organization has done a great job of keeping us socially distanced making sure we are wearing masks making sure we are accountable and then you just kind of accept what happens.”