The New England Patriots probably aren’t sure who will start at quarterback for them on Monday night, but Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio is prepping to face the team’s best.
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Fangio Assumes Cam Newton Will Be Playing
Don’t try to tell Fangio the Patriots will be without Cam Newton. He is preparing as if the 2015 NFL MVP will return after testing positive for COVID-19 a little over a week ago.
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Vic Fangio is determined not to be caught off guard by the Patriots on Monday night. No one knows if Cam Newton will return, but the Broncos head coach says he's preparing his team to face Newton, per Mike Klis of KUSA. “Yeah, I mean we’ve been under that assumption the whole time that he would be playing,” Fangio said, via Mike Klis of KUSA. “And then adjust if he’s not. Just like Kansas City did last week with the late positive test in the week. Just like Pittsburgh had to do against us when Drew [Lock] got hurt in the second series of our game. . . . Yeah, we’re anticipating Newton playing but we’ll be ready if he’s not the quarterback.” #Patriots #NewEnglandPatriots #CamNewton #StephonGilmore #DevinMcCourty #JasonMcCourty #JoshMcDaniels #JCJackson #LawrenceGuy #ChaseWinovich #JoshUche #KyleDugger #JoeThuney #JamesWhite #DamienHarris #JarrettStidham #AdamButler #JJTaylor #DevinAsiasi #DaltonKeene #JulianEdelman #NKealHarry #GunnerOlszewski #DavidAndrews #BillBelichick #RobertKraft #AFCEast #AFC #NFL
Perhaps Fangio is attempting to counter some potential gamesmanship from the Patriots with a little of his own. In any case, preparing for Newton and getting anyone else on the Patriots roster could force his team to adapt to two completely different defensive gameplans.
If that’s what he has to do, the Broncos’ defense could have a few challenges. However, even if this is the case, the Broncos’ task of adjusting to a different quarterback is still likely less challenging than what the Patriots and their staff have to endure.
Because of positive COVID-19 tests, the Patriots haven’t practiced this week, and won’t get a chance to prepare in person until Saturday. Thankfully, no new positives have been discovered in the organization.
New England will re-open their facility for the first time in three days and are set to practice at 10:30 am ET.
If Newton Doesn’t Play, Patriots Leaning Toward Jarrett Stidham
According to CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora, the Patriots are leaning toward starting Jarrett Stidham if Newton is unable to play.
If Cam Newton is unable to play this week, whenever the Patriots end up playing, Jarrett Stidham would be in line to start I'm hearing. Newton has been taking part in team zoom meetings.
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 9, 2020
Veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer started in place of Newton on Monday night. He laid a massive egg and was pulled in favor of Stidham in the second half.
Hoyer may have taken his final snap of the 2020 season behind that woeful performance. Stidham came in and showed some nice arm talent, but he was picked off twice along with throwing his first NFL TD pass.
There is no question, Stidham would be an upgrade over Hoyer. However, Newton still gives the Patriots the best chance to win on Monday and for the rest of the season.
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