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Patriots coach Bill Belichick evades question about Cam Newton-Stephon Gilmore dinner

Stephon Gilmore, Cam Newton, Bill Belichick, Patriots

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick refused to answer about Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore reportedly having dinner just one day before it was revealed Newton tested positive for COVID-19.

Adam Schefter reported Wednesday Newton and Gilmore had dinner the Friday before New England’s Week 4 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. The next morning, Newton tested positive for COVID-19, and Gilmore later tested positive on Tuesday.

Belichick said Thursday the Pats felt they had followed protocols accordingly in an effort to play the Chiefs as scheduled, despite Newton’s positive test.

However, he would not directly address the reported dinner between Cam and Gilmore (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk):

Asked whether the team knew about the Newton-Gilmore dinner, Belichick was equally evasive.

“We followed all the NFL protocols,” Belichick said.

The Patriots and Belichick might be getting flak about this apparent dinner between two of their top stars. But the NFL is getting an equal amount of criticism for proceeding with the game between New England and Kansas City.

Newton was not the only player on the two teams to test positive. After Gilmore tested positive earlier this week, there were questions about whether the NFL prioritized playing to the schedule ahead of player safety.

In any case, these are tricky times for the league.

Numerous players around the NFL have been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 in the past few days, and the Tennessee Titans are in hot water after reportedly holding multiple private workouts amid their outbreak.

The NFL is intent on playing the 2020 season to its completion, but it is going to take total accountability and transparency from all 32 teams to make that happen.