How can Cam Newton return to Patriots if he keeps testing positive?
By Adam Weinrib
Bill Belichick addressed when Patriots QB Cam Newton could return EVEN if he keeps testing positive. We’ll explain.
Week 5 has been extended near-indefinitely for the New England Patriots, after a trickle of positive tests sent the team’s battle with the Broncos to its anticipated bye week next Sunday.
Needless to say, for a team without a quarterback, things have been especially bleak.
Patriots fans may be wondering when their asymptomatic stars in Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore can return to action, especially imbued with the knowledge that Gilmore has been raring to go early in the week, while Newton has continued to test positive, without a silver lining.
According to Bill Belichick’s radio spot on Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Monday, though, there is a way that Newton can return without getting the reassuring clearance of a negative test — so long as the league’s medical experts agree.
As Belichick understands, positive test results could continue for Newton for an exceedingly long time.
"“I think what you’re going to find is, if a person has the COVID virus, that they’re going to continue to test positive for a significant period of time. It could be, I don’t know, 30 or 60 days. I’m not sure. I’m not a doctor here, but it depends on [the] body and how quickly it sheds the virus — but not at a contagious state. So that’s what it’s about. If you’re just looking at testing on somebody who has tested positive, they are going to be testing positive for a long time. We saw that, and many teams — I have talked to many other coaches — same thing. Guys that had it in the spring or in the summer continued to test positive into training camp, but that is based on the, whatever it is, 60 or 90 days — I forget exactly what the timetable is. But from the first positive test, there’s a certain period of time where they basically expect those tests to be positive.”"
This lengthy description of the NFL’s return to action policy comes on the heels of Newton’s father Cecil explaining that his son doesn’t outwardly have any of the virus’ many complications.
Of course, the coronavirus is bizarre, and any number of after-effects may still manifest themselves.
But for now, Newton believes himself to be clear of all problems, looking forward to getting let loose on a technicality.