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Unfiltered Notebook 10/13: Pats staying fluid and flexible

The Patriots hope to get back on track and back into a football routine as they wrap up an unexpectedly-early bye week.


The Patriots players got a final day off on Tuesday as the team prepares to get back into a football routine after nearly two weeks of uncertainty.

"We're on track to play on Sunday, let's put it that way," said Bill Belichick in his morning WebEx conversation with the media, a quick reminder how quickly things can change this season.

"This year's adjustment, as I said, started back in the spring, so it's not like all this got thrown on us in the last week or two. So, all the virtual meetings, the distancing, the lack of spring and so forth, we've just adjusted to it the best that we can."

Although their bye week comes before they were expecting it, the team now hopes to get healthy and re-establish the rhythm that they were building through the first three weeks of the season. With two-straight days of negative tests there's hope New England is about to put their unexpected Covid cluster behind them.

All eyes are now on Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore, two of their most dynamic players and the first on the roster to test positive. Their availability will greatly impact the dynamics of this weekend's game against Denver.

"I'm not sure exactly what the schedule is in terms of when those guys will do the things that they need to do," said Belichick of those on the reserve list. "Again, some of that has to be scheduled outside of the building and so forth."

The dynamics have already changed for the Broncos, with starting quarterback Drew Lock and tight end Noah Fant both possible to now return from injuries and play in the twice-delayed matchup.

We'll get our first answers on Wednesday when the Patriots get back to the facility and Denver starts their second-straight week of prep for New England.

"We know we're going to have to be fluid and flexible," said Belichick. "I don't think that's going to change, and so we'll just kind of take it day by day and do the best we can with each opportunity that we get. If we have to change off our normal routine – with what's been normal this year, let's put it that way – then we'll do that."

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