Just as the Patriots removed their two most prominent players from the reserve / COVID-19 roster, they put three other players there. Sony Michel, Shaq Mason and Derek Rivers landed on the list on Saturday, by Yates Field from ESPN.com.
Players do not have to test positive for the coronavirus to be placed on teams’ COVID lists; they can land there if they are considered close contacts of a person who has tested positive. The Pats removed Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore from their roster this week, but still have multiple players. James Ferentz and defensive end Byron Cowart were already on New England’s COVID list.
As 4 p.m. PT on Saturday approaches, the Pats’ Week 6 game against the Broncos remains scheduled for Sunday noon. The NFL was aware of the team’s impending adjustment on Saturday to its COVID roster, per Tom pelissero from NFL.com. However, the Pats only resumed training on Thursday – after their game against the Broncos was postponed from its Monday date – and canceled their in-person practices on Friday due to another positive test.
Michel was already on the New England IR, while Mason missed Week 4 and was questionable for Week 6. The Pats will be clear of Mason and Ferentz from their starting O line on Sunday, if the match remains scheduled. Rivers has played 21 percent of the Patriots’ defensive shots this season; the defensive end has 1.5 sacks.