FOXBOROUGH, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The New England Patriots are returning to the practice field, on Thursday, for the first time all week, and they have some of their key players back in the rotation as well.

Not only is starting quarterback Cam Newton back on the field, but the reigning defensive player of the year, cornerback Stephon Gilmore also returned to the practice field for action.

Both players were kept out of the Patriots facility and off the field after testing positive for COVID-19. But now, they are good to go, with clearance from the league, Newton, Gilmore, and defensive tackle Bill Murray was taken off the COVID-19 reserve list. Now, this only leaves defensive tackle Byron Cowart on the list.

The Patriots as a whole, returning to the practice field for the first time all week, gearing up to take on the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

The Broncos have been preparing for the Patriots for two weeks now. When asked how the team will be handling practices with Newton back in the picture and only having roughly two more days to practice, head coach Bill Belichick told Western Mass News the team has to now adjust on the fly.

"We’ll have to see how it goes. We haven’t had an opportunity to do much here in the last 10 days or so. We’ve been on the field one time," he explained. "So, we’ll have to see how things go here, and that’s with everybody. It’s not specific to any individual player, but just in general."

Belichick also said the coaches, making a conscious effort to see where every player is at, given the limited physical practices this week, heading into this Sunday's game.

He told us it's on them to be aware of each player, which will determine how they will handle these next few practices.

Coming up later on Western Mass News at 6 p.m. on ABC40, we'll keep you updated on why Belichick said the rookies are far more behind this year than any other rookie group he has coached before and how it has been affecting the team.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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