Cam Newton tests positive for COVID-19, Patriots-Chiefs game in jeopardy
New England Patriots star quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, which is now in jeopardy, according to multiple reports.
The 31-year-old’s diagnosis comes in the same week that saw 16 Titans players and staff members test positive for COVID-19, which led the NFL to postpone Tennessee’s Week 4 game against the Steelers.
As of Saturday, no other Patriots players or staff members have tested positive for the virus; however, more positive results may begin to surface in the coming days, as was the case with Tennessee.
Newton’s case and the added uncertainty has made it unclear whether the NFL will move ahead with the Patriots-Chiefs game as scheduled.
The Patriots in a statement confirmed one of its players had tested positive, without naming Newton.
“The health and safety of our team, as well as our opponent, are of highest priority,” the Patriots wrote.
After being limited to two games last season with the Panthers due to injury, Newton had begun making a bid to become NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Leading the Patriots to a 2-1 start, the 31-year-old quarterback has accounted for a total of six touchdowns — including four rushing — while throwing for 714 yards and a career-high 68.1 completion percentage.
If more cases aren’t found and the game isn’t postponed, head coach Bill Belichick has two options at quarterback.
The Patriots could start 2019 fourth-round draft pick and 24-year-old Jarrett Stidham, who has thrown four career passes, or journeyman Brian Hoyer.
The 34-year-old Hoyer has appeared in 69 games with seven teams — and three previous stints with the Patriots — while throwing for 52 touchdowns, 34 interceptions, and a 59.1 completion percentage.
Newton, the 2015 league MVP, signed an one-year, $500,000 guaranteed contract with the Patriots this offseason after Tom Brady left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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