Aleah DeHay, 12, of Weymouth, Mass., sits near a New England Patriots team logo, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Steven Senne/Associated Press

The Patriots returned all negative COVID-19 test results Tuesday morning from a round of testing conducted Monday, according to multiple reports, giving the team two straight days with zero positive tests.

The latest positive test, from defensive tackle Byron Cowart over the weekend, caused the team’s home game against the Broncos to get postponed to 1 p.m. Sunday after getting pushed twice last week. Players, coaches and essential staff members will continue to be tested daily, including on game days, per revised NFL protocols.

Players were set to return to the team facility Wednesday morning to prepare for the Broncos, but Coach Bill Belichick on Tuesday offered no indication on whether Cam Newton or Stephon Gilmore – who both tested positive – will be available to practice or play against the Broncos.

If Newton is asymptomatic as reported, he can be activated off the team’s COVID-19 list once he receives permission from a team physician. And Gilmore claimed Monday he’s “ready to be back in action.”

Belichick says he doesn’t know.

“Yeah, I’m not exactly sure what the schedule is in terms of when those guys (Newton and Gilmore) will do the things they need to do,” Belichick told reporters Tuesday. “Again, some of that’s has to be scheduled outside of the building and so forth. So I’ll leave that to the medical department. I don’t know exactly what their schedule is.”


Newton has now cleared the 10-day period asymptomatic players must wait before receiving permission to return. If Newton is symptomatic, he must wait at least 72 hours since his last symptoms appeared before he can be cleared.

Gilmore is now seven days removed from his positive test. Last week, he declared himself asymptomatic, and seemed to reaffirm that status Monday with an Instagram post. When asked during a radio interview Monday if Gilmore could return soon, Belichick dodged.

“Again, any player that would come back to the team off the COVID (list) would have to go through a medical clearance,” Belichick said. “That will be part of any player’s return to the team from that situation. We’ll have to see how that goes.”

TWO WEEKS ago the New England defensive line showed it could handle an elite offense against Kansas City. It’s a small sample size, but it’s a start.

Now the question is who’s actually going to be able to play this week against Denver?

Lawrence Guy is healthy, so that’s a good start, but after that the big boys up front start to get a little thin. Byron Cowart and practice squad DL Bill Murray are both on the COVID-19 IR, so they’re out. Newcomer Beau Allen remains on IR (the normal one) but could be activated. Adam Butler was limited at practice last week with a shoulder problem.


Could Nick Thurman be in the Patriots’ plans?

Belichick was asked about Thurman, who played in the loss to Seattle in Week 2 and in the Week 3 win over the Raiders before being placed back on the practice squad.

“Nick’s a hard-working kid. He’s played a number of different roles for us, has been active here a little bit this year and he’s had an opportunity to practice with our defense, not just scout team,” Belichick said. “Like all of our second-year players, made significant improvement over the course of the off-season and at the start of the year this year.

“We’ll see how it goes. I’m sure if he gets an opportunity he’ll be ready to go.

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