Patriots Facilities Reopened, on Track for Broncos After Positive COVID-19 Test

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2020

The gold 50 yard marker and Patriots logo is seen on the filed before the New England Patriots play against the Pittsburgh Steelers during an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

The New England Patriots reopened their team facilities Saturday after canceling practice Friday following a positive COVID-19 test result.

ESPN's Field Yates reported the Pats remain on track to play Sunday's Week 6 home game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium.

Patriots center James Ferentz was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.

In recent weeks, New England quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore have been among the players to spend time on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Both Newton and Gilmore have returned to practice.

The Pats' schedule has been altered multiple times because of coronavirus concerns. Their Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs was delayed one day and the meeting with Denver was pushed back from Week 5 to Week 6. The team's bye was moved up one week as part of the adjustment.

Last week, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told reporters the organization would always 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. 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."

New England is scheduled to play 12 consecutive weeks to complete the regular season, leaving minimal flexibility for future postponements.

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The Patriots are 2-2, leaving them 1.5 games behind the 4-1 Buffalo Bills in the AFC East.