Here’s what we know about NFL coronavirus testing that could directly affect the Kansas City Chiefs. We’ll keep this article updated as more information about Week 5 testing becomes available.
Chiefs and Raiders have no new positive tests
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that neither the Chiefs or the Raiders — scheduled to play at Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday — have new positive coronavirus tests on Thursday.
Rescheduled Titans-Bills game might move Chiefs-Bills game to Saturday
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that Titans and Bills players were told that there are discussions underway that should their Sunday game be moved to Monday or Tuesday (sound familiar?) then the Chiefs-Bills game scheduled for next Thursday would be moved to Saturday.
I’m told by #Titans and #Bills players they were told there is an option of playing their Sunday game on Monday or Tuesday in Nashville. If that happens, Thursday night’s game between the Chiefs at Bills would be moved to Saturday. This all just being discussed.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) October 8, 2020
Patriots have no new positive tests on Thursday
On Thursday morning, NFL’s Ian Rapoport reported that the New England Patriots have had no new positive tests among their players. The team’s faciltiy remains closed; they will continue to conduct their business remotely on Thursday.
The #Patriots had no new positive tests today, I’m told. They are working remotely, for at least one more round of COVID-19 tests.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 8, 2020
Speaking on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” Rapoport said that a new report indicates that Patriots quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore — both of whom have tested positive for the coronavirus — had dinner together before Monday night’s game with the Chiefs.
Titans players may have conducted unauthorized workout
In that same GMFB segment, Rapoport said the NFL is investigating whether as many as 15 Titans offensive skill players conducted an unauthorized off-site workout while their facility was closed last week.
The Titans’ facility remains closed on Thursday. As yet, there is no word about whether their game against the Buffalo Bills will take place as scheduled on Sunday.
New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore tests positive; no additional Chiefs have positive tests
On Wednesday morning, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore has tested positive from the novel coronavirus. Pelissero said that it was “unlikely” the Patriots would practice on Wednesday.
#Patriots star CB Stephon Gilmore has tested positive for the coronavirus and the team isn't expected to practice today, per sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 7, 2020
This is worrisome because the possibility exists that Gilmore was also infected during Monday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Put Mahomes in a hermetically sealed bubble please pic.twitter.com/LK62mS3Ei3— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) October 7, 2020
Of course, Mahomes presumably shared a quarterback meeting room with teammate Jordan Ta’amu all week leading up to the game. Ta’amu reportedly tested positive for coronavirus on Friday and is now on the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 list. Experts say person-to-person transmission of the virus is much more likely when an infected person is in contact with someone else for a longer period of time than Mahomes and Gilmore spent in close proximity to each other.
In any case, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that as of Wednesday morning, the Chiefs have not had any additional positive tests.
All tests came back negative from the Kansas City Chiefs today per source.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) October 7, 2020
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer noted that Gilmore had been identified among those who had close contact with Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, whose positive test over the weekend started the chain of events that led to the Chiefs-Patriots game being rescheduled to Monday night.
Per source, Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore came up as one of QB Cam Newton's close contacts over the weekend. Chiefs/Pats was delayed in part b/c of Newton's high number of close contacts.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 7, 2020
Pats flew Newton's close contacts to KC separate from the rest of the traveling party.
Raiders defensive lineman tests positive
Pelissero also noted that Tuesday’s NFL transactions reports included Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Maurice Hurst being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, indicating that he has tested positive in advance of the game against the Chiefs this Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
The only other team leaguewide with a new positive case from Tuesday's round of testing was the #Raiders, who placed DL Maurice Hurst on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 7, 2020
Las Vegas, of course, is a team that’s been in a lot of hot water with the league over coronavirus protocols. The team and its head coach were both fined for not properly following sideline rules about mask usage. The team was also fined for allowing an unauthorized person in its locker room after a game.
In addition, tight end Darren Waller and 10 other Raiders players were fined after they attended Waller’s charity event, where photographs showed the players (and other attendees) not wearing masks or following social distancing guidelines.
Tennessee Titans have two more positive tests
Pelissero also reported that two more members of the Titans tested positive on Wednesday.
By Sunday, a total of 10 Titans players (and 10 members of the team’s staff) had tested positive, according to our sister SBNation site Music City Miracles. With these two additional positive cases, it would appear likely that the Titans’ game against the Buffalo Bills this Sunday will be the second game on the their schedule to be postponed until later in the season — if not cancelled outright.
This would give the Bills a huge advantage over the Chiefs in their Week 6 Thursday night matchup in Buffalo. The Chiefs (assuming that the Raiders’ outbreak does not become more widespread and the game is rescheduled) will be on a short week, while the Bills will be playing after a weekend off.