Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore hasn't been on the practice field since last Wednesday, which raised a few questions when it comes to why.
Last week the Boston Herald's Karen Guregian reported he was dealing with a personal matter, but there were no further details.
When Gilmore's absence carried over into this week, some theorized he could potentially be holding out.
Appearing on Ordway, Merloni & Fauria Monday, Bill Belichick was asked directly if Gilmore is holding out?
"He's excused," Belichick said.
Almost at the same time, NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry reported Gilmore tended to a personal matter, but has returned to the area and once he’s passed the necessary COVID-related steps, he will be able to return.
This goes along with what Belichick said to OMF.
"There's some protocols that we've had to deal with. When he's able to come back, he'll be back," he said.
The Patriots will practice the next few days, so the potential is there for Gilmore to return. In his absence, JC Jackson has been getting No. 1 cornerback reps.