Patriots

Morning sports update: Chase Winovich’s eccentric and insightful thoughts on the Patriots’ ‘weird’ week

"I was joking with the guys, 'What if we come out and we just look amazing and have our best game of all-time? We're going to have to travel the same day of the game from now on.' I don't think they liked it."

Chase Winovich
Chase Winovich during the Patriots' win over the Raiders. Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini

The Patriots’ Week 5 matchup against the Broncos was moved from Sunday to Monday at 5 p.m. following Stephon Gilmore’s positive test for COVID-19.

The team’s latest round of COVID-19 tests came back negative on Friday morning, meaning that the game is still on track to be played.

Chase Winovich on the Patriots’ unprecedented week: Second-year linebacker Chase Winovich has been one of New England’s standout defensive players so far in the 2020 season.

Winovich, 25, was recently tabbed by ESPN Analytics as a possible breakout star, given his ability to dominate against both the pass and run:

On Thursday, Winovich joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand” to discuss the team’s unprecedented week of challenges.

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After having to play the Chiefs on Monday instead of Sunday due to Cam Newton’s positive COVID-19 test, the Patriots have been working remote since Wednesday due to Stephon Gilmore’s positive test.

Winovich discussed the difficulty of having to travel and play on the same day, as the Patriots did in order to play in Kansas City.

“It was really weird, but like I said, we’re so fluid in the sense that whatever is being thrown our way we’re just going to take it and try to make the best of it,” Winovich explained. “It just is what it is. My whole attitude is trying not to complain or trying to make things more difficult for myself and those around me than they actually already are.”

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Though the Patriots lost to the Chiefs 26-10, New England’s defense played well for much of the game, limiting the explosive defending Super Bowl champions.

“Ultimately, hitting people, and hitting [Patrick] Mahomes, is a blast,” said Winovich. “So just the opportunity to go out and do that, whatever I have to do — if I have to wake up at 4:30 in the morning — then we’re going to do it.

“But it was definitely weird,” Winovich added. “I was joking with the guys, ‘What if we come out and we just look amazing and have our best game of all-time? We’re going to have to travel the same day of the game from now on.’ I don’t think they liked it.”

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The problem for the Patriots, like every sports team around the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is the level of uncertainty that remains even after every precaution is taken.

Winovich acknowledged the concern when asked about playing even after several teammates opted out of the season.

“The whole COVID situation is just a big gamble, in terms of it’s just like roulette,” Winovich admitted. “You don’t really know what your symptoms are going to be. I understand the premise behind most guys are going to be fine but, A) your families are at risk, and B), like I said, not everybody handles the virus in the same way.

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“How your body reacts is really kind of a crapshoot,” said Winovich. “I’m just trying to stay safe and play football and obviously it’s a complicated situation. I’m doing the best I can.”

Asked about how the team “adjusts on the fly” to a positive COVID-19 test from a teammate, Winovich had an eccentric but thorough answer.

“Yeah, it’s definitely an adjustment,” Winovich admitted. “It’s a crazy year, first off. I mean aliens, they came out and said they’re basically real and no one even bats an eye, just to put that in perspective. On a side note, they just found a freaking dragon in Canada, a Pterodactyl, so along that note it’s just anything’s up in the air.

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“Every week is a kind of a new situation, and new problems to kind of adapt on the fly,” Winovich continued. “That’s just what it’s going to be for the rest of the year I think. The team at the end of the day that can kind of adapt to those challenges and rise to those occasions, or as some people say, follow to that level of preparation, is going to come out on top.

“I personally feel we have a very strong foundation and we have a great strategy for how to attack this thing and how to make the most of it. I know the guys are working hard, getting out in their individual, respective patches of grass that they have and trying to make sure they’re staying in shape for this weekend. We have a big game against Denver and until we hear from the league that the game’s not going on, we have to prepare.”

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Trivia: According to Basketball Reference, the draft pick that the Suns eventually used to select Rajon Rondo in 2006 actually originated with the Lakers. It was traded by Los Angeles to Boston in 2004 (before eventually being dealt to Atlanta, and then Phoenix). The original deal, which occurred in 2004, had the Celtics sending Chucky Atkins, Jumaine Jones and Chris Mihm to the Lakers in exchange for the 2006 first-round pick, and two other players.

Name two players the Lakers sent to the Celtics in the 2004 trade.

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: One appeared in the movie “He Got Game,” and the other is a Hall of Famer who lost in the NBA Finals to the 1995-1996 Bulls.

More from Boston.com:

Tom Brady appeared to lose track of downs on Thursday night: Facing a fourth down while trailing late in the fourth quarter against the Bears on Thursday, Tom Brady threw an incomplete pass to tight end Cameron Brate.

After the play, it appeared Brady was confused as to what down the previous play had been.

When asked about it after the game, Brady only discussed the yardage needed.

“Yeah, I knew we needed a chunk, and I was thinking about more yardage and, you know, it was just bad execution,” said Brady. “We had a great opportunity there. Just didn’t execute when we needed to.”

Joe Judge on job interviews with Nick Saban and Bill Belichick:

On this day: In 2018, the Red Sox defeated the Yankees 4-3 to win the American League Division Series 3-1. Rick Porcello’s started strong (fiv e innings, one run allowed), and the game culminated with closer Craig Kimbrel managing to hang on despite a wild 9th inning.

Daily highlight: From earlier this week, an exquisitely worked goal from the Corinthian women’s team in Brazil.

Trivia answer: Rick Fox and Gary Payton.

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