Game on! Patriots will play Broncos on Sunday

The New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos have the “all clear” to play each other at Gillette Stadium Sunday afternoon, according to an National Football League executive.The executive texted SportsCenter 5’s Duke Castiglione that there were no new positive COVID-19 tests around the NFL.”Play football,” the text read.This comes after the Patriots placed three more players on their COVID-19/reserve list Saturday afternoon: starting running back Sony Michel, starting right guard Shaq Mason and defensive end Derek Rivers.The team reopened its facility Saturday morning after closing it Friday due to a positive COVID-19 test within the organization. New England ended up placing offensive lineman James Ferentz on the COVID-19/reserve list.The Broncos, meanwhile, announced Saturday that their running backs coach, Curtis Modkins, had tested positive for the coronavirus. Modkins did not travel with the team to New England and is isolating at home. The team also identified close contacts and administered necessary point-of-car COVID-19 tests, which yielded negative results.The Broncos landed at Hanscom Field airport in Bedford late Saturday afternoon, and their team buses did arrive at Gillette Stadium Sunday morning.The game was supposed to be played a week ago, Oct. 11, but the game was postponed to the following day after Patriots All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive for COVID-19. The contest was then rescheduled to this Sunday after Pats starting defensive tackle Byron Cowart also tested positive for the coronavirus.With the game postponed by a week, Week 5 of the NFL season served as a bye week for both the Patriots and Broncos.This week, the Patriots had only one practice on Thursday and a walkthrough on Saturday to prepare for the Broncos. New England did practice on Oct. 10 when the team was scheduled to play Denver on Oct. 12.While the Patriots will be shorthanded for the game, starting quarterback Cam Newton and Gilmore are expected to play after they were both removed from the COVID-19/reserve list earlier this week.Cowart, Ferentz, Mason, Michel and Rivers are the players currently on New England’s COVID-19/reserve list. Patriots practice squad player Bill Murray, who was recently removed from the team’s COVID-19/reserve list, returned to practice Thursday.The Broncos will likely have their top quarterback, Drew Lock, back in action for Sunday’s game. Denver will be without three starters due to injury (tight end Noah Fant and outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu) and non-COVID-19-related illness (running back Melvin Gordon).Kickoff in Foxborough is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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The New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos have the “all clear” to play each other at Gillette Stadium Sunday afternoon, according to an National Football League executive.

The executive texted SportsCenter 5’s Duke Castiglione that there were no new positive COVID-19 tests around the NFL.

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“Play football,” the text read.

This comes after the Patriots placed three more players on their COVID-19/reserve list Saturday afternoon: starting running back Sony Michel, starting right guard Shaq Mason and defensive end Derek Rivers.

The team reopened its facility Saturday morning after closing it Friday due to a positive COVID-19 test within the organization. New England ended up placing offensive lineman James Ferentz on the COVID-19/reserve list.

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The Broncos, meanwhile, announced Saturday that their running backs coach, Curtis Modkins, had tested positive for the coronavirus. Modkins did not travel with the team to New England and is isolating at home. The team also identified close contacts and administered necessary point-of-car COVID-19 tests, which yielded negative results.

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The Broncos landed at Hanscom Field airport in Bedford late Saturday afternoon, and their team buses did arrive at Gillette Stadium Sunday morning.

The game was supposed to be played a week ago, Oct. 11, but the game was postponed to the following day after Patriots All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive for COVID-19. The contest was then rescheduled to this Sunday after Pats starting defensive tackle Byron Cowart also tested positive for the coronavirus.

With the game postponed by a week, Week 5 of the NFL season served as a bye week for both the Patriots and Broncos.

This week, the Patriots had only one practice on Thursday and a walkthrough on Saturday to prepare for the Broncos. New England did practice on Oct. 10 when the team was scheduled to play Denver on Oct. 12.

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While the Patriots will be shorthanded for the game, starting quarterback Cam Newton and Gilmore are expected to play after they were both removed from the COVID-19/reserve list earlier this week.

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Cowart, Ferentz, Mason, Michel and Rivers are the players currently on New England’s COVID-19/reserve list. Patriots practice squad player Bill Murray, who was recently removed from the team’s COVID-19/reserve list, returned to practice Thursday.

The Broncos will likely have their top quarterback, Drew Lock, back in action for Sunday’s game. Denver will be without three starters due to injury (tight end Noah Fant and outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu) and non-COVID-19-related illness (running back Melvin Gordon).

Kickoff in Foxborough is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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