New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19, it was reported Saturday morning, sending an already messy NFL Week 4 into chaotic overdrive.
Updated Oct. 3, 2020 at 12:25 pm: Newton was made inactive for their highly anticipated game Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, but the NFL quickly moved to postpone the game to Monday or Tuesday. (Of note, the league did the same thing with Titans/Steelers earlier this week before moving that game further into the season, see below).
Just a half hour after that announcement came word that the Chiefs had their own COVID-19 issue to deal with:
How Newton contracted the virus or if other Patriots players have or will test positive is also unknown at this time. The team released a statement saying only that “a Patriots player” tested positive, but other outlets reported it was Newton.
This news comes on the heels of the Tennessee Titans announcing three more positive tests, officially marking the Titans as the NFL’s version of the Miami Marlins.
Everyone remembers in July, days after Major League Baseball got their season off the ground, the Marlins became the league’s first COVID-19 superspreader team. There were 17 COVID-19 positive players over an eight-day span throwing their entire season into disarray. In total, 18 Marlins players and two coaches contracted the virus.
The Titans are headed in the same direction as the Marlins with a total of eight players and eight employees now testing positive.
The previously identified COVID-19 positive Titans are defensive lineman DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley, practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson, outside linebacker Kamalei Correa, cornerback Kristian Fulton, practice squad cornerback Greg Mabin, and receivers Adam Humphries and Cam Batson. The three new players’ names were not immediately released.
The Titans were supposed to play Pittsburgh tomorrow, but that game has been postponed until Week 7. The Titans had a bye and the Steelers were set to play the Ravens that week, but both the Steelers and Ravens have byes the week after. So the Ravens-Steelers game was moved to the following week.
Now with the positive cases confirmed today, it’s anyone’s guess what the Titans schedule will look like in the coming weeks. Quarantine time for the virus is at least two weeks, so the Titans game next week against the Buffalo Bills is also now in jeopardy.
The Titans opponent from last Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings, have not had any players or team personnel test positive for COVID-19.
The Titans shut down their facility to players and team personnel Tuesday after the first wave of positive tests and their plans were to reopen Saturday, but that doesn’t look like it will happen.
With the loss of Newton and Titans players, the high-risk gamble many people worried about before the season started has now arrived. These players are risking their health for the sake of entertainment. Clearly, baseball and football should have taken better notes from the success of the NBA bubble.
Update: It has been reported that a player on the New Orleans Saints, who are scheduled to play Detroit today, has also tested positive for COVID-19.
Katherine Terrell of The Athletic reported the Saints’ positive test was confirmed to her.