FOXBORO — The Patriots should have their best player back on the practice field once he passes through the requisite steps to satisfy the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.
Stephon Gilmore left the team last week for a personal matter, according to a source, but has returned to the area. Once he’s passed the necessary COVID-related steps, the plan is for him to rejoin the Patriots for training camp work.
Gilmore has missed the team’s last four camp practices.
When NFL players began returning to their teams earlier this summer, they had to produce three negative COVID-19 tests before being allowed into their respective facilities.
Between Aug. 12 and Aug. 20, over 23,000 tests were administered to players and zero yielded positive results, according to the NFL. Over 35,000 personnel were tested and six new positive cases were confirmed. Dozens of false positive cases for several NFL teams were produced in a New Jersey lab over the weekend, but those samples were re-tested and deemed negative.
Gilmore, the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, is set to make $10.5 million in base salary this season, with none guaranteed, per Over the Cap. But the source indicated that Gilmore’s recent absences were not contract-related.
The Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian was the first to report last week that Gilmore’s practice absences were related to a personal matter.