Why Patriots-Chiefs game should 'definitely' be canceled, per Dr. Myron Rolle

Darren Hartwell
·2 min read

Rolle: Why Pats-Chiefs game should 'definitely' be canceled originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The NFL is forging ahead by scheduling the New England Patriots' Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs for Monday night, which is good news for the league and its fans.

But is playing a game three days after players on both teams tested positive for COVID-19 the right decision?

Dr. Myron Rolle, a former NFL safety who now is a neurosurgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, doesn't believe the Patriots should get on a plane to Kansas City on Monday.

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"I think you definitely should cancel this game, certainly," Rolle told host Michael Holley Sunday on NBC Sports Boston's "Patriots Pregame Live."

The Patriots and Chiefs returned all negative COVID-19 tests Saturday and Sunday after two players -- reportedly New England QB Cam Newton and Kansas City quarterback Jordan Ta'amu -- tested positive Friday.

As other teams also deal with positive cases, though -- the Titans are up to 16 confirmed cases in their organization -- Rolle says now is the time for the NFL to step back and re-evaluate its approach.

"I think you should readjust," Rolle said. "You should look back and say, 'What is happening? What are we doing? How do we refocus the attention to detail on the protocols?'

"We've talked almost every week about how complacent and non-compliant sideline personnel and coaches have been with their masks. So, if you look at that and say, 'This is kind of a microcosm of what's happening behind closed doors in those locker rooms and NFL facilities,' maybe they're not as strict as we would like them to be."

The NFL has fined multiple teams and head coaches for violating mask-wearing guidelines on the sideline during games. Rolle believes that's a product of players and coaches letting their guard down as they get back to the "normal groove" of the season.

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"Athletes are creatures of habit, so once we get back into our normal routine, it's like, 'Well, let's forget about what we really need to pay attention to amid a pandemic like this,' " Rolle said.

Rolle has been on the front lines fighting the virus for months and has seen his hospital overwhelmed by patients affected by COVID-19. He didn't agree with the NFL playing its season in the first place during the global pandemic, and he offered the league some advice as positive tests pop up.

"Refocus, re-strategize, bring in some independent evaluators, experts, epidemiologists, medical professionals, to see if this (season) is even possible to continue," Rolle said.

Watch Rolle's full interview on YouTube or in the video below.