The New England Patriots received some positive news regarding their Coronavirus situation on Tuesday: the only player who has tested positive so far, quarterback Cam Newton, remained asymptomatic as of Monday, while all of the tests taken as the team left Kansas City after its game against the Chiefs came back negative. Not all news coming out of Foxborough today fall in that same category.
According to the NFL’s official transactions wire, the Patriots have sent rookie defensive tackle Bill Murray to Practice Squad/Reserve/Covid-19 — joining Newton as the team’s lone two players on the special Coronavirus list.
While we do know that Newton has tested positive for the novel Coronavirus, we cannot say whether or not Murray has also been infected based on the current facts. Reserve/Covid-19 is not just for players who have caught the virus, after all, but also for those who have been in close contact with infected people. According to the NFL, a player has to immediately be sent to the reserve list if he falls into either of the two categories. Murray apparently does.
The youngster, whose practice squad spot has now been opened, can return off the list in the same way as Newton can.
- Murray shows no symptoms: If the youngster does not develop any of the symptoms associated with Covid-19 — most commonly fever, a dry cough and tiredness — a return is prohibited until 10 days have passed since the first positive test or five days have passed since that first test if two consecutive tests separated by 24 hours turn out negative. Furthermore, club and NFL physicians will have to give the green light while guidelines and requirements defined by Massachusetts’ local government also need to be fulfilled.
- Murray shows symptoms: If Murray develops Coronavirus symptoms over the next few hours or days he will not be allowed to return until at least 10 days have passed since those symptoms first appeared and at least 72 hours since he last showed them. A return, once again, will have to be approved by the Patriots and by NFL physicians while once again fulfilling local guidelines and requirements.
Given that Murray is a member of the Patriots’ practice squad he will likely not have traveled with the team to Kansas City on Monday. Nevertheless, the situation certainly is one worth keeping a close eye on considering New England’s weekend and Newton’s positive test.