Bill Belichick: Health and safety first, football second

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The Patriots will work remotely for the second straight day on Thursday and head coach Bill Belichick said he doesn’t know if they will be back to in-person work on Friday.

Belichick said on a conference call that those are “medical decisions” rather than football ones and that the team is deferring to those people in the wake of positive COVID-19 tests in the organization.

“It’s the health and safety of the team first and football second,” Belichick said.

The Patriots played on Monday despite quarterback Cam Newton testing positive for COVID-19 before the trip and cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who had close contact with Newton, has since tested positive as well. Belichick said the team “followed all the protocols” laid out by the league when it came to playing that game, including traveling in two planes so that those who had contact with Newton weren’t mixed in with the rest of the group.

Belichick was asked if he regrets having made the trip in light of Gilmore’s test and said that it was not in the team’s control. He said that his focus is on the things they can control and, at the moment, that doesn’t include much about the plans for Sunday’s game.

19 responses to “Bill Belichick: Health and safety first, football second

  1. If these are the only positives, then the Patriots deserve credit for managing this situation well despite the fact that the two players who have tested positive are two of the most important on their roster. I still wouldn’t be surprised if their game this week gets moved to Monday again.

  2. I’m sure BB would like nothing better than to postpone any game for which his options at QB come down to Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham.

  3. Man I love BB….. the guy just gets it & rolls with the flow focusing on what he can control & adjusting to the things he can’t……

  4. If nothing else, this season will serve as a long preseason for next year.
    A lot of defensive leaders will return to find well-seasoned rookies and a new quarterback who has learned the system in its entirety.
    I’m certainly not ruling out playoffs and beyond, but this crazy season will end up serving the Pats well.

  5. That’s leadership. BB is really a players coach and always has been. Always falls on the sword and protects them from a disgusting press.

  6. Good to see Belichick and the team are taking things seriously. If I am not mistaken, he is at least on friendly terms with the current president, but is not letting this turn political or macho like so many (including said president) have done. I mention that only because we have seen many people connected to the current president buckle to pressure and do what he wants instead of following protocols laid out, whether those are put in place by states, cities, employers, businesses, etc.

  7. Not a Pats fan but I think they lost something like 8 players before the season started to players opting out for the season including some starters like Patrick Chung and linebacker Donte Hightower. Not sure a team in the league came close to that. Could be wrong on that number but I think that’s what I read. They’ve been dealing with this virus before the season even started.

    Very strange season. Don’t know what will happen to the competitive balance and the integrity of the playoffs if these positive test results are still occurring after the regular season has been completed. What happens if a team like the Chiefs or any playoff team has a bunch of their starters not able to play? What’s the NFL’s plan if something like that happens? Or do they have one? Because it could happen.

  8. firedog784 says:
    October 8, 2020 at 10:12 am

    What happens if a team like the Chiefs or any playoff team has a bunch of their starters not able to play? What’s the NFL’s plan if something like that happens?

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    Great questions — What will happen if in January/February a playoff team or heaven forbid a team in the Super Bowl ends up with multiple positive tests?

  9. We are likely going to several more positive COVID cases in the coming days from both Patriots & Chiefs players after playing Monday nights game. Until their is vaccine released to the public we are going to see more and more the colder & colder it gets the deeper we get into the fall & the closer we get to winter. If the NFL wants a season I agree with PFT, the NFL should create a bubble and have players stay in motels throughout the season, maybe shorten the season to 12 or 14 games due to COVID and the NFLPA will probably ask for that in exchange for staying in hotels anyway but the league needs to do something and fast before they have a real serious outbreak. And a serious outbreak will end up happening if they don’t do anything it’s just a matter of time.

  10. >>>What will happen if in January/February a playoff team or heaven forbid a team in the Super Bowl ends up with multiple positive tests?<<<

    What will happen is that we'll have a top seed team or two that could lose their first playoff game and be bounced out of the playoffs because they have two or three or four or more of their players in quarantine watching the games. Especially if one of them is their starting QB like a Cam Newton. I don't care who you cheer for or what team someone is a fan of but does anybody want to see that if it happens? I mean teams are sometimes forced to deal with injuries but that's a different situation than this. I don't want to see any team's chances come playoff time diminished because of players getting positive test results.

  11. 1st: Tuck Rule Dynasty
    2nd: Filming other teams practice
    3rd: Winning Games
    4th: Player Safety

    Billly B. is getting old and forgetting what got him here

  12. billymadison85 says:
    October 8, 2020 at 11:18 am
    We are likely going to several more positive COVID cases in the coming days from both Patriots & Chiefs players after playing Monday nights game. Until their is vaccine released to the public we are going to see more and more the colder & colder it gets the deeper we get into the fall & the closer we get to winter. If the NFL wants a season I agree with PFT, the NFL should create a bubble and have players stay in motels throughout the season, maybe shorten the season to 12 or 14 games due to COVID and the NFLPA will probably ask for that in exchange for staying in hotels anyway but the league needs to do something and fast before they have a real serious outbreak. And a serious outbreak will end up happening if they don’t do anything it’s just a matter of time.

    6 2 Rate This

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    Exactly. Every time the NFL brags about no positives withon a 24-48 hour period, they show they don’t get the 14 day incubation period.

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