Despite the Patriots canceling their Friday practice, their game against the Broncos remains on schedule for noon CT on Sunday. New England, however, will not have its current starting center for that contest.
The Patriots are placing James Ferentz on their reserve/COVID-19 list, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The Pats canceled their Friday workout after another positive test. It is not certain if Ferentz tested positive, with players not having to do so to be placed on the COVID list, but this is another setback for the team and a concern for the league.
Ferentz started New England’s Week 4 game in Kansas City for David Andrews, who resides on the Pats’ IR list. While the Patriots are slated to have Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore back in Week 6, the former will play behind a reconfigured line. Ferentz, a former Bronco in his fourth season with the Patriots, has played in 18 games with his current team and started three.
The Pats placed Andrews on IR in late September; Andrews missed all of last season due to a blood clot issue. New England could use guard Joe Thuney at center and play versatile rookie Michael Onwenu at left guard. Onwenu has already seen action at both guard spots and right tackle, despite being a sixth-round pick. Right guard Shaq Mason got in two limited practices this week. Mason missed Week 4 with a calf injury.
Both the Patriots and Broncos have been informed the game is still on for Sunday, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes no contingency plan currently exists (Twitter link). Were the NFL to delay this game again, no bye week-related fix can be made. The league already postponed this game one week. This obviously remains a situation to monitor over the next two days.