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Report: Patriots, Titans Have No New COVID-19 Cases; NE on Track for Week 5

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2020

The NFL logo is seen on the field in U.S. Bank Stadium before an NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Both the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans reportedly recorded no new positive COVID-19 tests Friday, putting them on track to play their rescheduled Week 5 games.

ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini provided the testing updates.

The NFL previously announced the Patriots' game against the Denver Broncos would be moved from Sunday to Monday, while the Titans' clash with the Buffalo Bills is now set to take place Tuesday.

Tennessee has dealt with the league's first widespread coronavirus outbreak, recording 23 positive tests since Sept. 24, per Schefter.

The Titans' Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was postponed until Week 7, which doesn't leave them with another bye week. It'll create a scheduling quandary should they be unable to play the Bills on Tuesday night.

Teresa M. Walker of the Associated Press reported an NFL investigation into the Titans' outbreak found "several specific incidents" of the team failing to follow COVID-19 protocols, which could lead to punishments for the franchise.

"I don't expect anything either way," head coach Mike Vrabel replied when asked whether he thought discipline was on the way.

Meanwhile, the Patriots haven't dealt with a significant number of cases, but two of their most important players, quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore, have landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list since last week.

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New England will continue to prepare virtually for its game against the Broncos for at least one more day as an "added precaution," per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.

Pats head coach Bill Belichick told reporters Thursday the organization is always going to prioritize health over football.

"There's nothing more important than the health of the team. Without a healthy team, you don't have a team," Belichick said. "That's priority No. 1, and I'd say not only to our team but to their families and people that are close to them. That's always our No. 1 concern. We try to do everything we can to make that the best we can make it. That's the way it's always been, and that's not going to change."

It's the second straight week the Patriots' game was delayed until Monday. They lost 26-10 to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4 without Newton.