Saturday morning, the NFL announced that Sunday's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots would not take place as initially planned. Quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19, as did Chiefs' practice squad member Jordan Ta'amu. Now the game will move to either Monday or Tuesday.
"The New England-Kansas City game scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday will be rescheduled to Monday or Tuesday after positive COVID-19 tests on both teams," the NFL said in a statement on Saturday. "In consultation with infectious disease experts, both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the NFLPA to evaluate multiple close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments. All decisions will be made with the health and safety of players, team and gameday personnel as our primary consideration."
While the NFL did postpone the game until Monday or Tuesday, that does not clear a path for Newton to start against the Chiefs. He will still have to follow coronavirus guidelines set by the NFL and NFLPA until he receives negative test results. Either Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham will instead take the starting snaps when the game ultimately takes place.
Another side effect of the postponement that the NFL will have to address is the number of games the Chiefs will play in a short time. Following the rescheduled bout with the Patriots, Patrick Mahomes and co. will face off with the Las Vegas Raiders on Oct. 11. Days later, they will play Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills on Thursday Night Football. If all three games occur without any more adjustments, the Chiefs will suit up three times in nine days.
Before the news of the Patriots-Chiefs delay, the NFL faced a similar issue in Tennessee. The Titans had several players test positive for the coronavirus days before hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team had to close its practice facility while the league initially postponed the game until Monday or Tuesday. However, more positive tests surfaced, and the NFL ultimately moved the matchup to Oct. 25 (Week 7).
Additionally, the Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens game previously scheduled for Oct. 25 will now be played on Nov. 1 (Week 8). The Titans and Steelers will have a bye in Week 4 to return to full health. The Ravens, on the other hand, will have a bye in Week 7 instead of Week 8.