Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore Among N.F.L.’s New Covid-19 Cases

New England Patriots star cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the league’s defensive player of the year in 2019, tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the team to cancel practice Wednesday and increasing the N.F.L.’s positive cases since the season began despite renewed vigilance around health protocols.

Gilmore was revealed to have tested positive two days after the league put into place new measures meant to halt the spread of infections. The measures include video surveillance of players and team personnel to ensure mask-wearing, a prohibition against traveling during bye weeks and limiting the number of free-agent tryouts.

On Monday, the Patriots played at Kansas City, a game that had been pushed back a day after quarterback Cam Newton and a Chiefs practice squad quarterback, Jordan Ta’amu, also tested positive. With no new positive coronavirus tests emerging for either team on Sunday or Monday, the league staged the game on Monday night, with the Patriots chartering two planes — one for players who had been in contact with Newton, another for those who hadn’t — to travel. The new positive test potentially imperils the Patriots’ home game Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

The Tennessee Titans, who have been grappling with an outbreak for more than a week, learned Wednesday that two more players had tested positive, running their total of players and employees who have tested positive since Sept. 24 to 22. It is a discouraging development for the Titans, who after returning negative tests on Monday and Tuesday were hoping to be cleared to re-enter their facility on Wednesday.

The Titans’ outbreak caused their game last Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers to be rescheduled for later in the season, and with the team still prohibited from practicing, this latest news jeopardizes this week’s home game against Buffalo.


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