The New England Patriots have their second confirmed Coronavirus case. After quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for Covid-19 last Friday, cornerback Stephon Gilmore has now also been infected as his own positive test result from Tuesday shows. Gilmore will obviously be out for the foreseeable future — including New England’s Week 5 game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday — and will have to follow the NFL’s timeline for players testing positive.
How does that timeline look like? That depends on whether or not Gilmore, just Newton and rookie defensive tackle Bill Murray, develops symptoms over the coming days.
- Gilmore shows no symptoms: If Gilmore 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.
- Gilmore shows symptoms: If the Patriots’ number one cornerback shows any Coronavirus symptoms, meanwhile, he will not be allowed to return to off the Reserve/Covid-19 list 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.
The Patriots’ upcoming schedule is very much in flux right now given his positive test and the potential for more to follow, but in its current form Gilmore would have to sit out at least the game against the Broncos on Sunday:
Week 5: vs Denver Broncos
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: vs San Francisco 49ers
With the Patriots’ bye week coming up, Gilmore might be in a position to return for the team’s Week 7 game against the 49ers. Of course, a lot will depend not just on his own individual process but also whether or not the virus starts spreading like it did within the Tennessee Titans organization, where two more players were tested positive on Wednesday to bring the total to 22 infected people.
Either way, we know that Gilmore will miss at least five days.