NFL Patriots cancel workout after Gilmore contracts virus

New York (AFP) –

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New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive for Covid-19 after playing against Kansas City, according to multiple reports, prompting the NFL club to cancel a scheduled Wednesday workout.

And the Tennessee Titans' facility remained closed Wednesday after two more players tested positive for the deadly virus, giving the NFL club 13 players on its Covid-19 reserve list.

The NFL and its players association were looking into both situations as games next weekend appeared to at least be in jeopardy.

The NFL Network, ESPN and the Boston Globe reported Gilmore's positive test, the canceled practice and that practice squad defensive lineman Bill Murray had been put on the Covid-19 reserve list.

The Patriots (2-2), set to entertain Denver (1-3) on Sunday, lost 26-10 at Kansas City on Monday in a game postponed by a day after New England star Cam Newton tested positive for Covid-19.

Tennessee, which already had a game against Pittsburgh postponed to October 25 after an outbreak last week, has a 3-0 record and a home game scheduled Sunday against Buffalo (4-0).

But the Titans haven't worked out in more than a week and were denied the chance Wednesday by the latest virus positives after thinking they would return to their facility following two days without a positive result.

Other teams could see their schedules altered depending on what the NFL decides.

The reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs had no positive tests returned Tuesday after playing Gilmore and New England, but the defensive back was photographed talking to Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes after the contest.

The Chiefs were able to practice under NFL protocols but with mandatory use of personal protective equipment, including gloves on all but a quarterback's passing hand.

The Bills and Chiefs also have a small window for any rescheduling or delays. Buffalo is set to play host to Kansas City on October 15.

Gilmore, who has 11 tackles and an interception so far this season, was last year's NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

The Patriots conducted virtual meetings in the wake of practice being called off.

Bills coach Sean McDermott said Wednesday that his unbeaten squad has had no Covid-19 positives and the club is monitoring the situation in Tennessee.

"We have to be responsible and gather info so we can put the health and well being of the people in our building at the top of our list," McDermott said.

The NFL instituted tighter virus protocols this week after the Titans produced the first major outbreak of the season, now one-quarter complete.

"We're fighting an uphill battle," McDermott said. "The league took the right steps to increase the protocols. It's necessary because it's only going to get more difficult. No one is perfect. We're trying to do the best we can."