The New England Patriots’ Week 4 trip to the Kansas City Chiefs will now take place on Monday, the NFL has confirmed.
A meeting between the two previous Super Bowl champions was originally scheduled for Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, but positive coronavirus tests were reported for both teams on Saturday, meaning the matchup had to be pushed back.
Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton was reported to be the New England player who had contracted the virus, while Jordan Ta’amu, a QB on the Chiefs’ practice squad, is said to have tested positive.
However, all other players and team personnel from both franchises tested negative in the latest rounds of testing on Saturday and Sunday, ensuring the game could be pushed back a day, rather than postponed until later in the year.
The new kick-off time will be 7:05pm ET, one hour and 10 minutes before the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons kick off on Monday Night Football.
“Further testing of players and personnel on both teams returned no new positives from Saturday and Sunday testing,” a statement from the NFL on the Chiefs-Patriots game read.
“The clubs also worked closely with the NFL and NFLPA and infectious disease experts to conduct contact tracing and post-COVID exposure protocols are now in effect for both teams.”
Monday just got better. pic.twitter.com/Rq8C24nxhs
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) October 4, 2020
Kansas City, who have started 3-0 in their Super Bowl title defence, are now set to play three games in 11 days against the Pats, Las Vegas Raiders and Buffalo Bills.
The Chiefs will likely face backup QB Brian Hoyer on Monday, though, given Newton’s absence for the Patriots.
The NFL had to deal with its first in-season coronavirus crisis earlier this week when multiple positive tests emerged within the Tennessee Titans organisation.
Their Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers has already been postponed until Week 7 and, with fresh positive tests still emerging on Sunday, their Week 5 game against the Buffalo Bills could be in danger too.