Patriots gamers, coaches confront actuality of constructive COVID-19 assessments

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots captain Matthew Slater stated late Monday night time he was praying there would not be further constructive assessments for the coronavirus however totally understood the truth of the scenario.

That actuality has hit the Patriots laborious after reigning NFL Defensive Participant of the Yr Stephon Gilmore examined positive on Tuesday, a consequence that was confirmed Wednesday.

Whereas the Patriots try and shift their consideration to Sunday’s scheduled house sport in opposition to the Denver Broncos (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS), the prognosis shines a highlight on the human facet of the sport. Gilmore grew to become the third Patriots participant to be positioned on the COVID-19/reserve listing — becoming a member of quarterback Cam Newton and observe squad defensive lineman Invoice Murray — a scenario that naturally issues his teammates. The Patriots had no new constructive assessments from Wednesday’s outcomes that got here again late Wednesday, a supply confirms to ESPN.

After pushing via to play Monday’s sport at Kansas Metropolis, Slater stated, “I feel a variety of us simply wished to verify we had been wholesome and never passing something alongside to our households. That was the first concern for lots of men.”

Gilmore is married, and he and spouse, Gabby, have two kids, Sebastian and Gisele.

In the meantime, others within the group, resembling offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, are managing totally different well being issues.

“I’ve bronchial asthma. I feel we’re all delicate to the potential results that the virus may have on you. We’re attempting to do every little thing in our energy to guard ourselves and each other,” McDaniels stated. “I am going to belief the medical folks by way of what they’re telling us and me, relative to coming again into a gathering room or nearer contact with someone who has had it earlier than.

“They’ve actually performed a superb job speaking what they count on from us, and it is our job to uphold our finish of the cut price. There’s nothing extra necessary than the well being and security of the folks within the constructing.”

As for whether or not the Patriots ought to have performed Monday’s sport, after they took two planes to Kansas Metropolis, coach Invoice Belichick stated this week on sports activities radio WEEI: “I feel there’s a variety of questions, a variety of uncertainty on a variety of ranges, and it is laborious to know what the solutions are. That is actually on the medical space, and that is not my space, so I am going to go away that to the medical folks.”

Security Devin McCourty, a longtime captain, took a large view of the way in which the Patriots proceeded after Newton’s constructive check.

“It gave me nice perspective what everybody in our nation was going via. I take into consideration folks that do not have the sources that now we have. As nerve-wracking as every little thing is happening, I feel we had a way of safety that lots of people haven’t got,” McCourty stated.

“Clearly, it wasn’t good, however I feel we had much more peace of thoughts than folks did simply leaving their homes or buildings and strolling in hallways or streets. … You’re fearful and also you’re anxious with all these ideas of what COVID-19 brings, however we had so much at our disposal to form of get via every little thing.”

Slater, one of many Patriots’ participant representatives, acknowledged the assist he feels from the gamers’ union.

“I’ve to say the union is doing the very best they will dealing with this case. It is not a straightforward one. The entire nation is coping with it,” Slater stated Monday night time. “We’re attempting to play soccer in the course of a pandemic.”

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