One week ago today, Cam Newton tested positive for coronavirus. The NFL still decided to allow the New England Patriots to travel to Kansas City and play the Chiefs two days later. After that game concluded, Stephon Gilmore tested positive, and it seemed like the situation could be disastrous for both teams and the league.
Five days later, it seems the NFL narrowly avoided such a disaster. Both the Patriots and the Chiefs can say they contained an outbreak after a few members of each organization tested positive. That should not justify the decision to have them play last Monday, however. It was dangerous to play a game so soon after a positive test to a starting quarterback. The fact that it wasn't as bad as it could have been is not a "win" or "good news."
The Patriots spoke to media today for the first time since all that went down. Jason McCourty had a thought or two about the decision made last week.
He's right! That's the only explanation for why the NFL and the NFLPA gave the green light for the team to fly to Kansas City and play a game merely hours later when there was a strong possibility that members of the team had caught COVID-19, but weren't registering as positive because of the incubation period of the virus. Especially after Adam Schefter reported Gilmore had dinner with Newton on Friday night, a tidbit of information the NFL surely had before making the final decision. If safety was really the No. 1 priority, the game would have been postponed as soon as Newton tested positive.
And yet. The show went on. Nobody in the league offices or the NFLPA ranks will like McCourty's comments, but it's pretty hard to make an argument otherwise.