Patriots cancel practice after 3 players test positive for COVID-19

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The Patriots have canceled their Thursday practice as the team deals with a potential COVID-19 outbreak. The team will instead work remotely, as they did Wednesday after cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive for the virus

Gilmore, the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, said on Twitter Wednesday he is asymptomatic and “will take this as it comes.” 

The star corner joins quarterback Cam Newton and practice squad defensive tackle Bill Murray as Patriots players on the NFL’s reserve/COVID list.

“I don’t know what to expect, but my spirt is high because of God,” Gilmore said on Twitter. “I’ve followed every protocol, yet it happened to me. Please take this seriously.”

“The ‘Gilly Lock’ is going to sit down until the medical professionals let me know it’s best to continue normal activity,” he added. 

The team has not made any decision in regard to Friday’s practice, but if they are able to hit the field, it would be their only practice ahead of Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium, CBS Boston reports. It is not yet clear whether Newton or Gilmore could be available to play on Sunday, since it depends on whether they showed symptoms when they tested positive for the virus. 

The NFL reported Wednesday there have recently been 11 confirmed positive tests among players and 15 new confirmed positives among other personnel. 

“In the nine weeks since the beginning of training camp, we have had a number of isolated, new positive cases of COVID among players and other personnel across nearly two-thirds of NFL clubs and one outbreak among the Tennessee Titans,” said the NFL’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills.

“We have said all along that we expect positive cases,” Sills said in a news release. “As long as the virus is endemic in our communities, we will see new cases among our teams.”

“Risk mitigation, not elimination, is the key,” he said. “Our protocols are designed to quickly identify new cases, get individuals the care they need, and prevent further spread of the virus.”

Contributing: The Associated Press 

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