Chase Winovich is quickly becoming a New England Patriots fan favorite. Be it his tremendous performances on the field this season or his exuberant personality off it, the second-year linebacker is growing into a face-of-the-defense-type player.
As such, Winovich is obviously also a popular player for the media to talk to — something that happened on Friday morning: the 25-year-old appeared on the Zolak & Bertrand Show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, and was asked, among other things, about the Patriots’ recent Coronavirus cases and how they impact the team’s preparation for the upcoming game against the Denver Broncos. His answer was quite the ride.
“It’s definitely an adjustment,” said Winovich before going off the rails. Slightly. “It’s a crazy year, first off. Aliens, they come out and said basically they are real, and no one even bats an eye. On a side note, they just found a friggin’ dragon in Canada, a pterodactyl. Along that note, anything is up in the air.”
Wait, what did he just say?
Instead of climbing too deep down the rabbit hole of what Winovich mentioned, a quick breakdown: The Pentagon released three videos of Unidentified Flying Objects — these could very well be man-made, but the Pentagon just cannot identify their origins — in April, as this New York Times article reports. As for the dragon-part of the answer, it refers to a fossil paleontologists discovered in Alberta last month with a National Geographic story explaining the finding and its significance in great detail.
Winovich’s detour did eventually bring him back to the original question, though, and he spoke about preparation after two if his teammates — quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore — have tested positive for Covid-19 since last Friday.
“Every week in a new situation, and new problems to kind of adapt on the fly,” he said. “That’s just what is going to be the rest of the year, I think, and the team at the end of the day that can kind of adapt to those challenges and rise to those occasions — or as some people say fall into that level of preparation — is going to come out on top.
“I personally feel we have a very strong foundation and we have a great strategy for how to attack this thing and make the most of it. I know the guys are working hard and getting out in their individual respective patches of grass if they have them, and trying to make sure they’re staying in shape for Denver.”
The Patriots will take on the Denver Broncos on Monday night, after the game was pushed back one day following Gilmore’s positive Coronavirus test. Winovich, as has been the case during the team’s first four games of the season, is again projected to play a prominent role for New England’s defense: one of its starting outside linebackers, the former third-round draft pick is leading the team with a combined 15 quarterback pressures.
As for his own concerns about Covid-19, Winovich is looking at himself and how he can help fight its spread.
“The whole Covid situation is just a big gamble, in terms of it’s just like roulette. You don’t really know what your symptoms are going to be. I understand the whole premise behind most guys are going to be fine, but a) your families are at risk, and b) not everybody handles the virus in the same way, and how your body reacts is really kind of a crapshoot. I’m just trying to stay safe and play football, and obviously it’s a complicated situation. I’m doing the best I can.”