The New England Patriots could get their week in the Southern California sun, after all.
The Patriots, who visit the Chargers next Sunday, plan to stay in Los Angeles after that game to prepare for their Week 14 contest at the Rams on Thursday, Dec. 10, The Boston Globe's Jim McBride reported Monday.
The current plan is for the Patriots to stay on UCLA's campus before and after Sunday's game against the Chargers, per McBride, who noted New England head coach Bill Belichick has a close relationship with UCLA head football coach Chip Kelly.
Prior to the season, the NFL strongly urged teams not to stay in a different region this long due to the potential risk of spreading COVID-19.
UCLA has handled the pandemic relatively well so far: The university has had just 658 confirmed COVID-19 cases this semester (out of a total student population of nearly 45,000), only 24 of which have come from students living in on-campus housing, where the Patriots possibly could stay.
Perhaps the greater risk is a member of the Patriots -- who have already had several players test positive for COVID-19 this season -- spreading the virus to others on UCLA's campus, so it will be interesting to see what safety measures both the team and the university take.
The two-game West Coast jaunt is critical to New England's playoff hopes, as the team sits at 5-6 and just outside a playoff spot with five games remaining.