The Patriots are doing their part to social distance while traveling to Kansas City.
The Patriots will take two separate planes for the rescheduled Monday night meeting against the Chiefs, according to Pro Football Talk. New England is slated to travel Monday once the team has received its latest COVID-19 testing back (and assuming everything comes back negative). The game was pushed back after Cam Newton’s positive COVID-19 test was announced Saturday, as was Kansas City practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta’amu’s.
Pro Football Talk’s report indicates that one New England plane will carry the roughly 20 people who have been in closest contact with Newton. The rest of the traveling party will be on the other plane.
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Due to COVID-19’s incubation period of up to two weeks, there could still be New England players carrying the virus who have yet to test positive. The Tennessee Titans had players test positive throughout the entirety of Week 4, including Sunday, despite the fact that they had presumably not picked up the virus during the week once the Titans’ facility was closed.
New England used the two-plane method last season when the flu broke out on their team. Patriots owner Robert Kraft invested in two Boeing 767 jets in 2017 to serve as New England’s private air fleet. They became the first NFL team to invest in their own private jets.
The NFL announced Sunday afternoon that New England would officially kick off against Kansas City at 7:05 p.m. ET on CBS on Monday night. Any further tests returning positive could alter those plans further, though.