Like other teams in the past, the NFL hasn’t let the Patriots’ health mistakes go by
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Los New England Patriots were fined $ 350,000 for violations of the COVID-19 protocol related to positive tests of Cam Newton and others in October, a source confirmed to Dan Graziano from ESPN.
That’s the same amount the NFL fined the Tennessee Titans for similar violations in late October. In the case of the Titans, there were incidents of people not wearing masks and that contributed to the fine, sources told ESPN.
NFL Network first reported the fine.
Newton’s COVID-19 positive occurred on October 2, two days before the Patriots visited the defending Super Bowl champion, Kansas City Chiefs.
The game was delayed a day, Newton did not play, and the Patriots flew to Kansas City the morning of the game on separate planes, one that included about 20 player and staff who are considered close contacts of Newton and another with the others.
The day after the game, the cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the current NFL Defensive Player of the Year, tested positive for COVID-19. Gilmore was a very close contact with Newton.
That stretch turned out to be decisive in the Patriots season. They were 2-1 entering the game against the Chiefs, but lost their next four games as lack of practice time seemed to affect them. They also had a number of players landing on the reserve / COVID-19 list over the next several weeks.
“We played pretty well the first three weeks of the season, and then I’d say we regressed for the next two and a half weeks for a combination of reasons,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick previously said on Sirius XM NFL Radio.