Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham has a shot to start against the Broncos.
Patriots fans have been clamoring for head coach Bill Belichick to reveal whether or not quarterback Cam Newton will be activated from the COVID-19 reserve list in time for Monday night’s matchup with Denver.
Unfortunately for them, he only added to the mysterious feel behind Newton’s availability. Instead of providing a definitive answer, Belichick deflected questions from reporters on Saturday about who will start under center in Week 5.
Well, in some much-needed clarity, Ryan Hannable of WEEI is reporting that the Patriots are planning to roll with Jarrett Stidham at quarterback against the Broncos if Newton isn’t cleared in time.
It goes without saying that a legion of fans lost faith in Stidham following his disastrous cameo off the bench in relief of Brian Hoyer in Week 4. The Patriots’ rumored plan, assuming it stands, could prove him with the opportunity to turn that narrative on its head.
While it felt good to be proven right in asserting throughout the offseason that Stidham never had a chance at winning the supposed QB competition at training camp, we had no joy in watching him capitulate against Kansas City with the whole country watching.
In limited action, he finished 5-of-13 for 60 yards and one touchdown compared to two interceptions (though one of those came from a Julian Edelman drop). Those numbers equate to an egregious 39.4 quarterback rating and they mean the former Auburn star has now thrown three INTs on just 17 career pass attempts.
Fortunately for Stidham, it’s looking increasingly likely that he will get the chance to atone for his mistakes as Newton was absent from practice again on Saturday. Since it hasn’t been 10 days since his initial diagnosis, the former MVP will need two negative tests, with both coming at least 24 hours apart, to get activated in time for the game.
Belichick’s shady video conference made it seem like Newton will spend another game on the shelf. When you consider that Hoyer spoiled any chance he had at retaining the temporary starting gig, it’s really only fair that Stidham gets the nod in Week 5 against a banged up Broncos side.
Not that it could get much worse, but we’re expecting an improved performance from the 24-year-old signal caller. After all, it will be much easier for him to establish a rhythm as the starter as opposed to coming off the bench in the fourth quarter against the defending Super Bowl champs with the game still very much in reach.