How on Earth Was Stephon Gilmore Allowed to Play Monday Night?

Stephon Gilmore, Las Vegas Raiders v New England Patriots
Stephon Gilmore, Las Vegas Raiders v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

We learned on Wednesday that New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive for COVID-19. This came after Pats quarterback Cam Newton tested positive on Saturday. Now Adam Schefter is reporting Gilmore and Newton had dinner Friday night, just before Newton's positive test. So we have to ask, how the hell was Gilmore allowed to play Monday night?

If there are any kind of legitimate protocols in place, the Patriots and the league should have immediately figured out who Newton was in close contact with for a few days before his positive test. That, theoretically, would have led them to Gilmore. If he was with Newton the night before the positive test, Gilmore should have immediately begun quarantining, even if he tested negative.

A positive COVID-19 test result can take a few days to show up after contact with an infected person. If Gilmore spent time in close contact with Newton he was almost certain to have the virus. He should have never stepped on the field Monday night. The league moved the team's game against the Kansas City Chiefs from Sunday to Monday to give the Patriots time to figure out how to proceed. and yet they didn't stop Gilmore from playing.

So either the Patriots knew about the dinner and allowed Gilmore to play, or they somehow didn't know, which means they either didn't ask, or Gilmore and Newton hid it from them. Either way, someone here needs to face some kind of punishment. Gilmore played Monday evening and could have infected everyone he came into contact with.

He shouldn't have even been allowed to travel with the team. Gilmore was in the same room as his 68-year-old head coach for hours and was on a plane with teammates and other staff. That's insanity.

It's mind-boggling that we're this far into the pandemic and somehow the NFL, its teams and some of its players aren't taking this seriously. There is no universe where Gilmore should have played Monday night and the league needs to send a message here so people take this thing seriously.