(Reuters) - The NFL on Thursday postponed two Week 5 games after a number of positive COVID-19 tests among players and personnel on multiple teams, as the league works to keep its season on track.
The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots’ Sunday showdown in Foxborough has been pushed to Monday, while the Buffalo Bills game against the Tennessee Titans was postponed two days and is set to be contested on Tuesday.
“These scheduling decisions were made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts,” the league said in its announcement.
In addition, the league said it would move a Week 6 Thursday night game between the Bills and the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs’ from Oct. 15 to “later in the weekend,” if the Titans and Bills play on Tuesday.
The postponements follow positive COVID-19 results among the Patriots and the Chiefs - who played one another on Monday - and the Titans, with Tennessee seeing the most positive tests of any franchise in the league.
A total of 23 positive tests have been reported from the club, accounting for both players and personnel. Fourteen players - 10 from the active roster and four from the practice squad - are currently on the COVID reserve list, including two added to the list Thursday, a Titans spokesman confirmed to Reuters.
The Patriots canceled practice on Wednesday after reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore tested positive for COVID-19. Starting quarterback Cam Newton, a former league MVP, previously tested positive, as did Chiefs practice squad member Jordan Ta’amu.
The league told teams on Monday that violating safety measures could result in forfeited games, as it ramped up its precautions against the virus, including bans on gatherings outside of club facilities and limits to the number of tryouts allowed each week.
Reporting by Amy Tennery; editing by Richard Pullin
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