Patriots: Latest details don’t clear Cam Newton for return

Patriots QB Cam Newton (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Patriots QB Cam Newton (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Patriots QB Cam Newton continues to be asymptomatic, but can’t get cleared based on the evidence the team has.

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton is, understandably, itching to get back to football.

For so many reasons, that cannot happen right now, though, as basic protocols bar both Newton’s arrival and the participation of any of his teammates, for that matter.

After Monday night’s face-off with the Chiefs, it appeared the Patriots had avoided any further spread from Newton’s COVID-19 diagnosis, a bit of mythology rendered moot early in the week when Stephon Gilmore’s positive test was also revealed. Now, though a trickle rather than a steady stream like Tennessee’s endless battle, the positives have continued, shutting down the facility and postponing Week 5.

Pats fans should learn, if they haven’t yet, that this is a difficult enemy to stamp out, and typical optimistic timelines can’t be applied just because those involved are feeling A-OK. Newton’s father Cecil stopped by to talk about his son’s mentality with ABC 11 this week, and though the QB remains asymptomatic, that doesn’t mean his timeline can be accelerated.

In case you believed those bizarre reports that the asymptomatic Newton could rush back by Week 5, we’re not sure what to tell you. Those felt straight out of the NFL’s recent past, with the way a concussion is usually discussed, mapped onto the whole new world of COVID-19.

The league cannot afford more bad press than it’s already been forced to swallow. As the elder Newton said, patience isn’t just key right now; it’s the only focus.

Plus, there’s the nasty little detail that Newton was still testing positive for the virus as we hit the weekend.

The asymptomatic Newton must pass two consecutive tests in a 24-hour span, or can simply be cleared by a doctor after a 10-day wait…but who wants that responsibility on their hands if the tests keep telling a different story?

The Broncos and Patriots will face off in Week 6, and Newton will be under center only if he receives a remarkable amount of confirmation of his status, for the safety of those around him. From now on, no more asking if he can play through it or shake it off.