Another big-name New England Patriots player has tested positive for COVID-19.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday morning that reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore tested positive in Tuesday's round of testing, per a source informed of the situation.
Gilmore underwent additional testing to confirm the positive result.
With the latest positive test, the Patriots have canceled Wednesday's practice and will conduct virtual meetings. Pelissero reports that while the Patriots have informed all Tier 1/2 personnel that work will be remote Wednesday, everyone still must report to the facility to undergo daily COVID-19 testing. The facility will otherwise be closed Wednesday and Thursday, per Pelissero.
Gilmore later said in a statement posted to Twitter that he currently is asymptomatic and thanks "everyone who has reached out since hearing about my positive COVID-19 test."
Gilmore's test marks the third player affected by COVID-19 in New England in recent days. Cam Newton tested positive for the novel coronavirus and landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list last week. Practice-squad defensive lineman Bill Murray was placed on the reserve list Tuesday.
Gilmore participated in Monday's game in Kansas City against the Chiefs. After Tuesday's round of testing, no Chiefs players or staff have tested positive, per Pelissero, and the team is allowed to practice on Wednesday under the supplemental intensive protocols, including mandatory use of PPE by player in practice. Chiefs practice squad QB Jordan Ta'amu, who tested positive last week, remains the only positive case within the organization.
The latest positive out of New England underscores the enhanced protocols put in place by the NFL and NFLPA designed to help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus within facilities.
Last week, after a rash of positive tests in Tennessee, the Titans-Pittsburgh Steelers game was postponed until later in the season. Two more Titans players tested positive Tuesday, throwing more uncertainty into the situation in Nashville.
After Newton's positive test, the Patriots-Chiefs game was pushed from Sunday until Monday night to allow further testing. All results came back negative leading up to the Monday game. Since then, Gilmore has tested positive and Murray was placed on the reserve list.
When asked Wednesday by NFL Network's Judy Battista why the Patriots-Chiefs game was allowed to go on despite the positive tests ahead of time, NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said there had been "no high-risk contacts" between Newton and his teammates and, after reviewing video, the Patriots were shown to have been compliant at their facility, wearing their masks and tracking devices.
Sills added that the league and NFLPA will still review New England's outbreak, as they have with the Titans, not just to assess compliance but to glean more information about testing and protocols.
The Denver Broncos are scheduled to visit New England for a Week 5 tilt on Sunday. The game is currently on as scheduled at the moment, but, Pelissero added, the league is in the process of evaluating everything.