It's been a less-than-ideal week for the New England Patriots as they've had to place three players on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Quarterback Cam Newton tested positive over the weekend, prompting the NFL to reschedule the Patriots vs. Chiefs game from Sunday to Monday night. Since then, defensive tackle Bill Murray and cornerback Stephon Gilmore have tested positive, forcing New England to cancel practices during the week.
As a result, the Patriots will play on Monday night instead of Sunday for the second straight week when they take on the Denver Broncos. The Tennessee Titans also are dealing with an outbreak and had their game vs. the Buffalo Bills rescheduled.
All of this is to say, the NFL is sort of a mess right now. Judy Battista from NFL.com joined Tom E. Curran on a brand new Patriots Talk Podcast to discuss the state of the league amid the pandemic.
"I think in terms of optimism they're actually fairly confident things are going to settle down and that they're going to be able to move through this," said Battista. "They point to the overall numbers and say there's been an outbreak in one team, which is obviously very troubling, but that hasn't happened anywhere else.
"Their experience during training camp and the first three weeks of the season where they had remarkably few cases sort of suggests that you can do this if you follow the protocols that are laid out. So I think they're actually cautiously optimistic that once they get through this, especially the situation in Tennessee, that it's OK."
Also discussed in the episode: Matt Cassel on struggles for Patriots' players to prepare for Denver, what does it take to get back on the field after testing positive for COVID-19? Who should start if Newton can't play? And should the Pats be looking for a wide receiver at the trade deadline?