QB Cam Newton out of COVID protocols, returns to Patriots

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton was back at practice Thursday after missing five days as required by league COVID-19 protocols.

Newton’s hiatus resulted from a trip he made Saturday to a “club-approved medical appointment that required him to leave the New England area,” the team said Monday. “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.”

Coach Bill Belichick said Thursday, per NFL Network, that Newton “didn’t go against team rules” and added, “All the QBs will get work today.”

Opportunity For Mac Jones

In Newton’s absence, first-round draft pick Mac Jones ran with the first team on Tuesday and at Wednesday’s joint practice with the New York Giants.

Cam Newton
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Belichick hasn’t named a starter for the Sept. 12 season opener against the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough, Mass.

The Patriots conclude their preseason slate on Sunday vs. the Giants.

As the Patriots starter last season, Newton — the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player — completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 2,657 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He ran for 592 yards with 12 scores.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)