NFL News: Another Patriots player placed on COVID-19 list

By Vincent Frank
Aug 24, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; A New England Patriots helmet lays on the sidelines in the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots’ Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, originally scheduled for Sunday, had to be postponed until Monday after starting quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19.

It was the latest in a round of outbreaks around the NFL world that resulted in the Tennessee Titans game against the Pittsburgh Steelers being pushed back a few weeks after as many as 20 members of the Titans’ organization tested positive for COVID-19.

We now have more information as it relates to COVID-19 and the NFL. It’s not great.

Another Patriots player placed on COVID-19 list

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, practice squad defensive tackle Bill Murray has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. A rookie undrafted free agent out of William & Mary, this doesn’t mean that Murray himself tested positive for the virus. Rather, he’s been in close contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19.

Given his status as a practice squad defensive tackle, it seems highly unlikely that said individual was Newton. He’s been in isolation since Saturday’s positive test.

However, this does lead to more questions than answers.

NFL COVID-19 protocols and the 2020 season

The league has been strict with its protocols since deciding to play the 2020 season outside of a bubble. The NFL held a conference call with teams on Monday focusing on the recent outbreaks, threatening potential forfeits should teams violate said protocols. It’s in this that the NFL is in the midst of investigating the Titans.

The NFL is said to be looking into the possibility of moving to a bubble. Given the recent outbreaks and the fact that the NBA has had success at Walt Disney World, that could make some sense. How it might work is anyone’s best guess.

As for the Patriots, it’s not yet known who Murray was in contact with. Coming off a loss to Kansas City on Monday night, it’s way too early to tell whether next week’s game against the Denver Broncos will be impacted.