Cam Newton has to sit out 5 days of crucial preseason practices due to misinterpretation of the COVID-19 protocols. And Bill Belichick believes Mac Jones might have a big opportunity on his hand.
The current starting QB for the Patriots, Cam Newton must sit out half of this week’s practices because of what the team is calling a “misunderstanding” about testing requirements. Locked in a battle with rookie Mac Jones, Newton will have to miss the first joint practice with the New York Giants on Wednesday and will only be able to be eligible to return on Thursday.
The Patriots announced that QB Cam Newton will be out five days as required by the NFL-NFLPA protocols, “due to a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities.” pic.twitter.com/b8Cmouhtj6
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 23, 2021
The Patriots issued a statement on the situation.
“On Saturday, Cam Newton traveled to a Club-approved medical appointment that required him to leave the New England area,” said the team in a statement Monday morning. “He received daily Covid tests, which were all negative. Due to a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities, and as required by the NFL-NFLPA protocols, Cam will be subject to the five-day entry cadence process before returning to the facility. Cam will continue participating virtually in team activities and return to the club facility on Thursday, August 26.”
With Mac Jones having a strong training camp, a lot of fans have been questioning Newton’s starting spot. Both QBs performed well in New England’s second preseason matchup against Philadelphia on Thursday. Newton completed 8-of-9 passes for 103 yards with a touchdown. Jones finished 13-of-19 for 146 yards, leading three scoring drives.
— NFL (@NFL) August 23, 2021
Bill Belichick believes this is a big opportunity for Mac Jones
Belichick confirmed Newton is expected back at practice Thursday but would not elaborate on his quarterback’s absence, including whether the misunderstanding was Newton’s alone or a shared issue with the team:
“I don’t have anything to add to the statement. It is what it is,” he said. During this Tuesday’s press conference, Belichick was asked if the next few days will present a big opportunity for Jones. His response was simple: “It is, yes.”
“I don’t have anything to add to the statement. It is what it is.” — Bill Belichick, on Cam Newton, while agreeing it is a big opportunity for Mac Jones. pic.twitter.com/J928qUHNPe
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 24, 2021
Despite a bad season as a passer, Bill Belichick and the Patriots renamed Cam Newton as the team’s starter ahead of training camp for 2021. And that seems to be the case after 2 weeks of the preseason. But the next few days might be crucial for Mac Jones to turn things around.
Cam Newton has the confidence of HC Bill Belichick which is great for him. But if he did have another string of bad performances, Newton could have played his final snap as an NFL starter. The Patriots QB situation should be very interesting to see in 2021.