New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has tested positive for coronavirus and their much anticipated game against the Kansas City Chiefs has been postponed.
The former NFL MVP has been placed on the league's new reserve/Covid list and, after Chiefs practice squad QB Jordan Ta'amu also tested positive, the meeting of the last two Super Bowl-winning teams has been pushed back to either Monday or Tuesday.
The Patriots reported that all other players who had close contact with Newton have since tested negative, but the postponement is another headache for the league, already monitoring a situation which has seen 16 players and staff from the Tennessee Titans test positive in recent days.
A Patriots statement on Saturday read: "Late last night, we received notice that a Patriots player tested positive for Covid-19. The player immediately entered self-quarantine.
"Several additional players, coaches and staff who have been in close contact with the player received point of care tests this morning and all were negative for Covid-19.
"We are in close consultation with the NFL, as well as our team of independent doctors and specialists, and will follow their guidance regarding our scheduled trip to Kansas City and game against the Chiefs. The health and safety of our team, as well as our opponent, are of highest priority."
The NFL confirmed the postponement in a subsequent statement, which read: "The New England-Kansas City game scheduled for 4:25 p.m. EST (9.25pm Irish time) on Sunday will be rescheduled to Monday or Tuesday after positive Covid-19 tests on both teams.
"In consultation with infectious disease experts, both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the (NFL Players' Association) to evaluate multiple close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments."
The Titans' game with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday was postponed until 25 October after the Tennessee outbreak, with the Steelers' scheduled game against the Baltimore Ravens pushed back to the following week to accommodate it.
The Titans have six players - DaQuan Jones, Beau Brinkley, Kamalei Correa, Adam Humphries, Kristian Fulton and Isaiah Wilson - on the reserve/Covid list along with practice squad members Cameron Batson, Tommy Hudson and Greg Mabin. In addition, outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen did not travel to last week's game against the Minnesota Vikings.