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As soon as the coronavirus was perceived to be on a steady decline, and sports were beginning to be on a deliberate incline, more outbreaks were unfortunately recorded in the NFL. On the New England Patriots, three men, offensive lineman Shaquille Mason, defensive lineman Derek Rivers and running back Sony Michel, tested positive and were added to the injury list. However, Sony Michel was already on the this list due to his leg impairment.
Michel injured his quad and has been battling knee surgeries since the Patriots had selected him as the 31st overall pick in the first round of the 2018 draft. Although the list is called the reserve/ COVID-19 list, players can be placed on it without necessarily testing positive because of the new “high risk” close contact category added to the protocol earlier in the week. Hence, Sony Michel’s prior placement.
According to Tom Pelissero, “The NFL added a new 'high risk' close contact category to the protocols this week, and anyone in it must isolate for five days, thus landing on the list.” All the players who were tested must remain in isolation until future test results are conducted and come back negative.
Immediately after these men were placed on the list, center for the Patriots, James Ferentz was also added to it. This forced the team to cancel practice on Friday and close its facility. This was a smart call on management’s end because if anyone else on the team was exposed, the season could have been postponed more than it already has been. Plus, if this were the case, fans would be fuming with range because several games have already been rescheduled.
As of Saturday, October 17th the Patriots facility had reopened and they are continuing to prepare for their game versus the Denver Broncos on Sunday at 1:00pm. With that being said, the Patriots are bringing up some of their COVID-19 replacements for the upcoming game. Some of these men consist of tight end Rashod Berry, defensive end Nick Thurman and wide receiver Isaiah Zuber. So, let's see if these men step up and play the game they are intended to play this Sunday.