Teams throughout the NFL continue to grapple with the notion of having fans in the seats for home games. Some have already implemented a limited capacity structure, while others still have postponed fan attendance indefinitely. The New England Patriots are in the latter category, and then some.
New England announced Monday it would not host fans at Gillette Stadium for the remainder of the 2020 season.
The decision comes amid a record-breaking swarm of positive COVID-19 cases across the country, with this next wave expected to be even more dire in the coming months.
New England’s own franchise has had its run-in with the virus this year.
The Patriots had their Week 4 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs pushed back a few days after quarterback Cam Newton tested positive. New England’s scheduled Week 5 showdown with the Buffalo Bills was then moved to Week 6 after star cornerback Stephon Gilmore and others tested positive.
While New England seems to have gotten the virus under control, it continues to have a pretty resounding impact on a number of franchises. As such, the Pats will not host fans out of an abundance of caution.
This has been a trying season for New England. The Patriots won two of their first three games, and looked primed to stay in contention for the AFC East title. But things have gone south in a hurry.
The Patriots have lost four straight and have been ravaged by injuries, with Newton and the offense struggling to move the ball. New England will hope to get back on track with a win over the winless New York Jets on Monday night.
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