The 2015 NFL MVP tested positive for COVID-19 in the first week of October. He missed the Week 4 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, and many hoped he’d be able to return for a Week 5 game against the Denver Broncos.
Perhaps Newton will get an opportunity to face the Broncos, but it won’t be in Week 5. Newton’s dad Cecil recently spoke to Bridget Condon of ABC 11 in Raleigh, Durham, and he provided some updates on his son’s status.
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The Good News
We’d heard through several reports Newton was asymptomatic. Cecil Newton confirmed this with Condon in their short interview. He also stated Newton is “roaring” to get back on the field.
Newton being asymptomatic is positive for a few reasons. No symptoms mean Newton isn’t likely to have some of the more adverse effects that have plagued and even killed millions across the world. That’s obviously paramount.
From a professional standpoint, Newton’s asymptomatic status means that if he tests negative for COVID-19 twice in a row with more than 24 hours between the two evaluations, he could return to the Patriots’ facility and the field. Therein lies some of the problem for Newton up to this point.
The Bad News
As of Sunday morning, Newton has reportedly not posted negative tests. In fact, Fox’s Jay Glazer reported Newton tested positive late last week, which means his return is still in question.
Until Newton can do this, the Patriots must explore other options at quarterback. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported New England was likely to start second-year-pro Jarrett Stidham at quarterback against the Broncos on Sunday, and then Monday if Newton wasn’t cleared to return.
Positive test results from reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore and defensive tackle Byron Cowart forced the NFL to at first push the game to Monday night, and then finally it was rescheduled to October 18 at 1 pm ET.
More Good News
While Newton still hasn’t posted the required negative tests, an additional week to recover could provide enough time for him to rid himself of the virus. If that happens, the Patriots would only be without their best offensive player for one game rather than two.
The Patriots are scheduled to practice on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, but of course, all of this is subject to change as has been the case for the past two weeks, and throughout 2020.
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