The NFL has officially rescheduled the Denver Broncos vs New England Patriots matchup In Foxborough, Massachusetts to Monday, October 12th. The game will be kicking off at 5:05 pm Eastern time, or 3:05 pm Mountain time.
The announcement has come in the wake of three Patriots testing positive for COVID-19, including Quarterback Cam Newton and Cornerback Stephon Gillmore, who many presume to be the Patriots two best players on their entire team. The former league MVP Cam Newton tested positive for the virus last Saturday and the reigning defensive player of the year Stephon Gillmore tested positive more recently on Tuesday, October 6th. Finally, a third player who is yet to be named tested positive a day later on Wednesday.
This isn’t the first time the Patriots have had a game postponed this season as just this past week their matchup vs the Kansas City Chiefs was moved from Sunday afternoon to Monday Night.
So far, Newton and Gillmore are the only named players who have tested positive between both the Broncos and the Patriots and it is expected that the virus has been contained, meaning everyone else is healthy and virus-free as the game is still expected to be played this week.
I get it; this delay could very easily end up being the right move as precautionary measures need to be taken to avoid letting the pandemic mess with this NFL season even further. We should all be thankful that we have football as just a few months ago the prospects of having football this fall did not look too great.
However, this doesn’t mean that Broncos fans don’t have the right to be frustrated with this decision to postpone the game a day as it puts the Broncos at a significant disadvantage while helping the Patriots substantially.
Realistically, the Patriots could end up having zero other players test positive and be back at practice at some point Friday or Saturday. If this happens the Patriots would be helped significantly.
For instance, Cam Newton’s likelihood of being virus free and back to playing in time for this game increases greatly as he has been asymptomatic. All he needs is two negative tests in a 24-hour span and he is good to go. This extra 24 hrs could very well be the difference he needs to play. Additionally, the Patriots, despite having a slip up somewhere in their COVID protocols, are now rewarded with an extra day to prepare for the matchup vs the Broncos. The short turnaround for the Patriots was supposed to help the Broncos as the Pats were coming off of a short week with limited in-person activities. This factor will now play a much less role.
In addition to the Patriots being helped put by this, the Broncos are at the same time hurt.
By being forced into playing a Monday Night game, the Broncos will now have a short turnaround themselves for the week 6 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Despite doing nothing wrong at all, the player will have less time to recover and prepare for their next matchup. Broncos star defensive lineman Shelby Harris expressed these same concerns in a tweet sent out immediately after this news broke.
Why are we getting punished when we did nothing wrong. Pats go on a bye next week and we are stuck on a short week playing the dolphins help it make sense
— Shelby Harris (@ShelbyHarris93) October 8, 2020
Not only are the Broncos player being “punished” as Harris puts it, but the Broncos fans are also being “punished.”
I’m not sure why this decision was made but the NFL decided to schedule a Monday football game at 5:00 pm Eastern time, or for most Broncos fans 3:00 pm Mountain time. Having a game at three o’clock in the afternoon puts thousands of fans in a situation where they won’t be able to watch. On the east coast Patriots, fans aren’t mad because by 5 most people are off of work and out of school, however, her in Denver, countless numbers of fans will still be at work or school, leaving them unable to watch the first half of the game, at least.
At the end of the day, I presume most Broncos fans would agree that this schedule change sucks big time, however, this I just one of the many sucky things that sports fans have had to deal with in what has been a very sucky year here in 2020. There’s not much we can do now but just work with what we’re given and in this case its an afternoon game on a weekday.
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