FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has tested positive for the coronavirus and is out for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, league sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Field Yates.
“Late last night, we received notice that a Patriots player tested positive for COVID-19. The player immediately entered self-quarantine,” the Patriots said in a statement Saturday. “Several additional players, coaches and staff who have been in close contact with the player received point of care tests this morning and all were negative for COVID-19.”
Veteran Brian Hoyer has served as the Patriots’ No. 2 quarterback through the first three weeks of the season, and 2019 fourth-round draft choice Jarrett Stidham has been third on the depth chart.
The Patriots were scheduled to depart for Kansas City on Saturday afternoon, but plans are now on standby as the club awaits more test results and guidance from the NFL, sources tell Schefter.
This marks the first time this season that the Patriots have been affected by the coronavirus. Up to this point, they hadn’t placed a player on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Head coach Bill Belichick previously said the Patriots, who also have quarterback Jake Dolegala on the practice squad, are fortunate to have good depth at the position.
Newton has been one of the Patriots’ top performers during the team’s 2-1 start. He’s 62-of-91 for 714 yards, with two touchdown passes and two interceptions, and he has added 35 rushes for 149 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Earlier this week, with news of the Tennessee Titans’ coronavirus outbreak, Belichick had said: “We monitor everything every day. We don’t just do it when there’s a problem or something comes up somewhere else. We do it on a daily basis and make everyone — because this is everybody, it’s not just players; it’s players and coaches and staff and everybody else — make everyone aware. Or if we can do something better, then we talk to them about how we can do it better. So, we try to monitor it the best we can, and we I think are pretty vigilant with, really, all of us.”
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