The New England Patriots’ options at quarterback don’t look particularly appealing if Cam Newton is unable to return Sunday after missing Monday’s delayed loss in Kansas City due to testing positive for COVID-19.
Backup signal callers Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham committed four turnovers in the 26-10 loss to the Chiefs, and Newton appears no better than questionable to be cleared to play this Sunday against Denver.
The 34-year Hoyer was pulled with the Pats trailing 13-3 in the third quarter; he completed 15 of 24 passes for 130 yards, with an interception and a fumble.
“We did what we thought was best, so that’s what we did,” head coach Bill Belichick said.
Stidham, the Patriots’ fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft out of Auburn, connected with N’Keal Henry for his first career TD pass in the fourth quarter. But he also threw one interception in the end zone and a 25-yard pick-six to Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu with 8:48 remaining.
Belichick gave no indication after the game which quarterback would start if Newton is forced to miss his second consecutive game in Week 5.
“At the end of the day, Hoy and I both, we know the offense and we know the game plan,” the 24-year-year-old Stidham said after Monday’s loss. “Obviously, I always want to be out there and it was good to be on the field and get some live reps.
“It’s frustrating not to get the win and throwing the two interceptions. I definitely think there are some better throws I could make. I’m anxious to watch the film and see what I can do to get better.”
Stidham added that he’d been in contact with Newton via text over the weekend.
“We chatted back and forth, and I said, ‘Whatever you need, I’m here for you and I hope you’re getting better,’” Stidham said. “Obviously, I want Cam to get better and be back in the room as soon as possible.”
Newton has been asymptomatic, according to the most recent reports, and would need two negative tests 24 hours apart in order to play against the Broncos.
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