Surprising Update on Cam Newton’s Injured Hand

Getty Cam Newton

During the New England Patriots’ OTAs last week, Cam Newton suffered a hand injury that took him off the field for a few days. There was some belief he’d be out until training camp began in July.

Based on a recent report from ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Newton may be back much sooner. How soon? How dies Monday sound?

Reiss wrote:

When the Patriots return to the field Monday, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Cam Newton is back under center, which reflects that his right hand injury isn’t serious. Teammates welcomed Newton at Friday’s voluntary OTA, and word is the QB1 threw the ball around a bit.

Newton would appear to be the clear choice to start when the Patriots open up regular season play for the 2021 season. However, an injury that kept him off the practice field for a prolonged period was seen as a potential path for rookie Mac Jones, and perhaps even Jarrett Stidham to close the gap.

If Newton is back with the team on Monday, that’s not a thing anymore.


In Newton’s Absence, the Other Quarterbacks Were Up and Down

Initially, Stidham stepped up to take some of the QB1 reps when Newton went down. He had a couple of strong days at OTAs, but on Friday, he slipped back into some of the inconsistencies that kept him from earning the starting job in 2020.

The Athletic’s Jeff Howe wrote about Stidham’s most-recent day of OTA work:

Stidham completed 11 of 14 passes in competitive team drills and targeted Kristian Wilkerson (3 of 3), Kendrick Bourne (1 of 2, drop), Gunner Olszewski (1 of 2), Devin Asiasi (1 of 1), Tony Fumagalli (1 of 1), Damien Harris (1 of 1), Tre Nixon (1 of 1), J.J. Taylor (1 of 1) and Jakobi Meyers (1 of 1). Stidham also threw a duck on a deep incompletion, and it was unclear who was the intended target. His incompletion to Olszewski was batted at the line of scrimmage. The completion numbers were in Stidham’s favor, but he had a handful of plays when he waited too long in the pocket and wouldn’t have gotten away with it in live action. That didn’t happen last week when he took the snap and ripped it a bit quicker.

Stidham still displays arm talent, but he struggles to separate himself from the pack on a consistent basis. Brian Hoyer had an excellent day of practice, but he’s not more than an emergency starter and mentor for Jones.

The rookie, while displaying a hard-working and humble attitude, is also struggling to process the wealth of information coming his way.

CLNS’ Evan Lazar wrote about Jones’ rookie growing pains:

There are glimpses of the quick processing skills and ball placement that attracted the Patriots to Jones in the first round, but he has a long way to go. After practice, Jones acknowledged that he’s overthinking and still building confidence like any rookie. His pass to Bourne was his first completion to a wide receiver during team drills in the three practices open to the media so far. Again, none of this is abnormal. All rookies are swimming in a complex playbook right now. Nonetheless, we are seeing primarily short throws and check-downs. Judging Jones at this early stage isn’t fair, but eventually, he’ll need to start letting it rip.

There is no need to panic about Jones’ development, but as it is, it’s good to have Newton on the team and expected to be the starter. It’s a steadying force needed for a team with postseason aspirations.


Patriots’ 2021 Pre-Season and Regular Season Schedule

We’re rapidly approaching training camp and pre-season games. We should have a clearer picture of which quarterback will be starting, and we’ll know if one is going to be released.

Here is a look at the Patriots’ complete schedule for this year.

Date   Opponent Time/TV

Thursday

Aug. 12

Washington Football Team

 (Preseason)

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

7:30pm ET

Local/NFL NETWORK

Thursday

Aug. 19

at Philadelphia Eagles

 (Preseason)

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA

7:30pm ET

Local/NFL NETWORK

Sunday

Aug. 29

at New York Giants

 (Preseason)

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

7:30pm ET

Local/NFL NETWORK

Sunday

Sep. 12

Miami Dolphins

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

4:25pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Sep. 19

at New York Jets

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

1:00pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Sep. 26

New Orleans Saints

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

1:00pm ET

FOX

Sunday

Oct. 3

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

8:20pm ET

NBC

Sunday

Oct. 10

at Houston Texans

NRG Stadium, Houston, TX

1:00pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Oct. 17

Dallas Cowboys

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

4:25pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Oct. 24

New York Jets

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

1:00pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Oct. 31

at Los Angeles Chargers

SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA

4:05pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Nov. 7

at Carolina Panthers

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

1:00pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Nov. 14

Cleveland Browns

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

1:00pm ET

CBS

Thursday

Nov. 18

at Atlanta Falcons

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

8:20pm ET

FOX/NFL NETWORK/AMAZON

Sunday

Nov. 28

Tennessee Titans

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

1:00pm ET

CBS

Monday

Dec. 6

at Buffalo Bills

Bills Stadium, Orchard Park, NY

8:15pm ET

ESPN

Sunday

Dec. 12

BYE

Saturday

Dec. 18

at Indianapolis Colts

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

Time TBA ET

or Sun., Dec. 19

Sunday

Dec. 26

Buffalo Bills

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

1:00pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Jan. 2

Jacksonville Jaguars

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

1:00pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Jan. 9

at Miami Dolphins

Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL

1:00pm ET

CBS

 

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