New England Patriots cornerback and NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. This comes a few days after Patriots quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for the coronavirus. With Gilmore testing positive, the team has canceled its Wednesday practice.
The Patriots played on Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs, and Gilmore played every snap on defense. The Chiefs have been tested for COVID-19 recently and reported no positive tests. When traveling to Kansas City on Monday, the Patriots took two planes, with a group of players who had the closest contact to Newton on one plane, and the rest of the team on the other. Gilmore was reportedly on the flight with the close contact with Newton.
"It's just a situation we had to go through, a lot of testing," Gilmore said after the game when talking about Newton's positive test changing the team. "We had to adjust a lot. ... At the end of the day, we came out, fought as much as we can, but just came up a little short." The Patriots plan to shut down their team facility outside Gillette Stadium and plan to do everything virtually on Wednesday. They are scheduled to face the Denver Broncos on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET. Patriots coach Belichick spoke to reporters on Tuesday and was asked about when they expect to have Newton back in the lineup.
"Yeah, we'll see how it goes," Belichick said. "We'll make a decision on that after we get more information on all those guys, starting with Cam." As of now, the Patriots-Broncos game is still set for Sunday, but that will all depend if the Patriots have more positive tests in the next few days.
The loss of Gilmore is big for the Patriots as he's arguably the best cornerback in the league. He was able to win the Defensive Player of the Year award after recording 53 tackles, six interceptions with two returned for touchdowns, and 20 passes defended. He made his first All-Pro first team in 2018 after tallying 45 tackles, two interceptions and 20 passes defended. Gilmore joined the Patriots in 2017 after spending his first five seasons with the Buffalo Bills.