The New England Patriots aren’t completely out of the woods yet after a COVID-19 outbreak swept through the roster earlier this month, but they have returned to a normal schedule this week.
That means the team was back to meeting in person Thursday. They no longer have to get changed in the Empower Field House and drive home before showering and meeting virtually via WebEx. They also were able to practice on consecutive days for the first time since Oct. 2.
“I think we all appreciate that, maybe took it for granted a little bit from the way it was in the past because it was always that way,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Friday. “But now having experienced the other side of it … it’s just a lot of little conveniences that as a team, players and coaches, that we’ve had that we didn’t have here for a few days.
“Now that we have them back I think there’s definitely an appreciation. I know there is, I have it. I know a lot of our players feel it as well. Just to be able to do things on kind of a normal basis, so that’s been positive for the team and I think their attitude and energy has reflected that.”
Two Patriots players remain on the COVID-19/reserve list: running back Sony Michel and center James Ferentz. Michel also is on the injured reserve list.
Quarterback Cam Newton was the first Patriots player to be placed on the COVID-19/reserve list. Defensive tackles Byron Cowart and Bill Murray, cornerback Stephon Gilmore, guard Shaq Mason and outside linebacker Derek Rivers also were placed on and have since come off the COVID list.