The New England Patriots are set to welcome back quarterback Cam Newton after the former NFL MVP was removed from the reserve/ COVID-19 list. The 31-year-old is expected to rejoin the team in practice and will likely be available when the Pats face the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
Newton was the first player on the Pats to test positive for the coronavirus earlier this month. That forced him to self-isolate with the 2015 NFL Offensive Player of the Year revealing he will use the time to heal and do some self-reflecting on Instagram.
His return would be a big boost to the Patriots who have found no success with Brian Hoyer and Jarett Stidham at the quarterback position. Newton missed the team's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, losing badly 26-10. Hoyer and Stidham threw a combined three interceptions with the Pats scoring miserably. The 10 points were the lowest for New England since December 2018 per NFL.com.
Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore at @Patriots practice Thursday pic.twitter.com/qcbEQsZZmZ — Tom Leyden (@TomLeyden) October 15, 2020
Though his return is welcome news, other players have yet to recover from COVID-19. After Newton, cornerback Stephon Gilmore and practice player Bill Murray. Gilmore is another key player that Bill Belichick could use but there is no update yet on his status.
Heading into Sunday's game against the Broncos, Belichick remains unsure of whether Newton (and Gilmore) will be back in harness. As far as Newton is concerned, it may all depend on his conditioning when he rejoins the Pats in practice.
“Yeah, I’m not exactly sure what the schedule is in terms of when those guys [Newton and Gilmore] will do the things they need to do,” Belichick said via WEEI. “Again, some of that’s has to be scheduled outside of the building and so forth. So I’ll leave that to the medical department. I don’t know exactly what their schedule is.”
Regardless, pundits feel that Belichick should be ready with or without both players. Now sporting a 2-2 record, the Pats are eager to get back on the win column. However, they face a formidable opponent in the Broncos. Drew Lock is expected to be back from a shoulder sprain he sustained in Week 2. He is already in practice and will be another worry for Belichick.
For New England, they have won two of their three games with Newton around. Despite questions on his health, the former NFL MVP has been phenomenal for New England. He has completed 68.1% of his passes for 714 yards and rushing for 149 yards. He also has four touchdowns so far for the Pats this season.