The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots will not play as previously scheduled on Sunday afternoon after Patriots quarterback Cam Newton and Chiefs practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta'amu both tested positive for COVID-19.
According to a statement from the NFL, the game is currently being postponed to Monday or Tuesday as both teams undergo further testing.
Newton tested positive for COVID-19 late Friday night and was added to the COVID-19/reserve list Saturday morning, first ruling him out of the previously scheduled Sunday afternoon matchup, then out of any game that would happen in the next several days, as was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. As of Saturday morning, no further spread has been detected within the Patriots' organization.
Schefter reported that the Patriots have been "doing mass testing and re-testing and, so far, there is no spread."
"Late last night, we received notice that Patriots player tested positive for COVID-19. The player immediately entered self-quarantine. Several additional players, coaches and staff who have been in close contact with the player received point of care tests this morning and all were negative for COVID-19.
We are in close consulatition with the NFL, as well as our team of independent doctors and specialists, and will follow their guidance regarding our scheduled trip to Kansas City and game against the Chiefs. The health and safety of our team, as well as our opponent, are of highest proiority."
Schefter reported that the Patriots were scheduled to leave for Kansas City at noon CT/1 ET, but those plans changed as they awaited "more test results and guidance from the NFL." Now, Monday or Tuesday night seem to be the teams' best chances of kicking off this week.
Dianna Russini of ESPN reported that the Patriots "sent the entire team home this morning and told the players to stay by their phones to find out when they are traveling."
Schefter added that the Patriots were operating with "all options [appearing] to be on the table," including the possibility of leaving later Saturday, leaving Sunday, or not leaving for Kansas City at all this week. One source told Shefter "No way they can travel today [Saturday]."
Field Yates of ESPN first reported that the expectation was that the Chiefs and Patriots will not play on Sunday afternoon, as previously scheduled. Options remain up in the air beyond that, including the possibility of moving to Monday night, according to Rapoport.
Rapoport later reported more bad news on the Chiefs side, as Chiefs practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta'amu has also tested positive for COVID-19.
Moments later, Chiefs-Patriots was postponed, per multiple sources.
Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu was the first member of the Chiefs to publicly comment on the morning's news, tweeting simply: "Wear your mask, wash your hands."
If the Chiefs and Patriots do face off on Tuesday, it would set the Chiefs up for an unprecedented turnaround, when they would be scheduled to play three games in just nine days.
Update: Schefter says the league will not make a decision on when the game will be played until more test results come back on Sunday.
Update: The NFL has received the Patriots test results and no one else turned in a positive test result. With the news, Tom Pelissero said the league is just awaiting results from Kansas City to give New England the go-ahead to travel to Kansas City. Everyone will be tested again Sunday morning.