The New England Patriots have slipped out of their division lead and currently sit in the top wild card spot in the AFC. They head into Week 17 tied with the Bills atop the AFC East, but the Bills have the divisional record tiebreaker edge.
The Patriots have avoided a major COVID-19 outbreak this season, but they are still dealing with some positives. The team added two more players on Monday, with linebackers Ja’Whaun Bentley and Matthew Judon added to the reserve/COVID-19 list. The team is also expected to place QB Brian Hoyer on the COVID list before the end of the day, per Mike Reiss. We’ll add him to the list below once it’s official in the league’s transaction wire.
Patriots COVID-19 list
QB Brian Hoyer (Placed Tue, Dec 28)
OT Yodny Cajuste (Placed Thu, Dec 30)
OG Yasir Durant (Placed Wed, Dec 15)
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (Placed Mon, Dec 27)
LB Matthew Judon (Placed Mon, Dec 27)
LB Brandon King (Placed Tue, Dec 28)
LB Cameron McGrone (Placed Mon, Dec 20)
LB Jose Uche (Placed Tue, Dec 28)
NFL COVID-19 protocols
The NFL changed its policy on Tuesday, December 28 following the CDC’s adjustment. If unvaccinated, a player must miss a minimum of five days if a close contact or a positive test. If they have not shown symptoms for at least 24 hours at the end of that five days, they are eligible to be activated.
A vaccinated player does not need to quarantine if a close contact, but does if they test positive. A vaccinated player can test out sooner than the five days if he is asymptomatic for at least 24 hours by one of the following options:
- He receivers two BRL PCR test results that are either negative or produce Cycle Threshold (CT) values of 35 or greater; OR
- He receive one BRL PCR test result that is either negative or produces CT values of 35 or greater and a negative Mesa test result from a test taken within 24 hours of the BRL PCR test. Both tests can be taken at the same time or less than 24 hours apart; OR
- He receives two negative MESA tests 24 hours after the initial swab was taken, but can be taken concurrently provided it’s two separate new swabs.