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Two more Titans test positive for COVID-19; Patriots cancel practice

The Tennessee Titans logo is seen in Nissan Stadium before an NFL football game between the Titans.
Two more Tennessee Titans players tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday.
(James Kenney / Associated Press)

Tennessee will not be returning to the team’s facility Wednesday after two more players tested positive in the NFL’s first COVID-19 outbreak, and the New England Patriots have canceled practice amid reports that a third player has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Sports Illustrated reported that reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore tested positive for the virus on Wednesday and was added to the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list. The Patriots did not give a reason for Wednesday’s cancellation and did not immediately respond when asked if it was related to a third positive test.

New England quarterback Cam Newton tested positive Saturday and is on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and the Patriots placed a defensive tackle from the practice squad on that list Tuesday. The Patriots are scheduled to host Denver on Sunday.

“WEAR YOUR MASK. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE,” Newton posted on Twitter Wednesday along with a photo of himself wearing a mask.

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The Titans had no positive tests Monday or Tuesday for the first time after six consecutive days of positive results.

The Titans’ outbreak now is up to 22 cases — with 20 now returned since Sept. 29 — with the latest results, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither the NFL nor the Titans announced the latest results.

Those results throw into question Tennessee’s scheduled game Sunday against Buffalo (4-0) in a game between two of the NFL’s six remaining undefeated teams. The NFL already postponed, then rescheduled the Titans’ game with Pittsburgh from Oct. 4 to Oct. 25.

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The NFL gave New England and Kansas City an extra day after Newton tested positive, and the Chiefs won that game 26-10 on Monday night. But pushing the Bills’ game with the Titans a day will be challenging because Buffalo is scheduled to host Kansas City on Thursday night, Oct. 15.

The Las Vegas Raiders put their first player on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, defensive tackle Maurice Hurst. He didn’t attend the charity function last week that led the NFL to fine 10 Raiders players for conduct violating COVID-19 protocols. The list is for players who either test positive for the coronavirus or have had close contact with an infected person.

The Patriots already have Newton on that list, and New England placed practice squad defensive tackle Bill Murray on that reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday.


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