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Patriots return to practice on Saturday after latest round of Covid-19 tests reveal no new positives

Related: Patriots continue to err on the side of caution despite no new positive Covid-19 cases on back-to-back days

New England Patriots Practice Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

For the third day in a row, the New England Patriots received no positive Coronavirus tests: according to reports out of Foxborough, the team’s Friday round of testing has come back all-negative — an encouraging development considering that the team had shut down its facilities after cornerback Stephon Gilmore was confirmed positive during Tuesday’s round of testing.

This, in turn, has allowed the team to return to the facilities on Saturday morning, and to later hit the practice fields again to finally begin preparations for the upcoming game against the Denver Broncos on Monday — one that was originally scheduled for Sunday but moved back following Gilmore’s test. The team will hold a light practice on Saturday before a walkthrough on Sunday.

What has been said in the last few days has to be repeated, though: the Patriots appear to be one an encouraging path, but they are far from in the clear given that the incubation time for Covid-19 is five to six days on average and that contract tracing has reportedly identified multiple Patriots players as potentially high-risk contacts with Stephon Gilmore.

New England therefore continues to play things safe as it returns to the field — as it should for the sake of its players and staff members.

”We’ll just do the best we can with the opportunities that we have,“ head coach Bill Belichick said during a media conference call earlier this week. ”So, that’s some teaching off of diagrams and things like that, there’s looking at our opponents and then there’s simulation, if you will, of how plays would be run, assignments and so forth and doing it in the format that we have available to us.

”It’s not ideal. I mean, this isn’t what we would normally do, but there is an opportunity to cover things and get things taught and explain them and have players ask questions and have coaches get together and put together game plans based on the same format that we are using.”