The New England Patriots were on the receiving end of some troubling news when quarterback Cam Newton left practice on June 4 with a hand injury after reportedly smacking it against a teammate’s helmet while following through on a throw.
At the time of the injury, there was speculation that Newton would be sidelined long enough for 2021 first-rounder Mac Jones to give him a run for the starting job.
Heck, reports at OTAs suggested Jarrett Stidham made the most of his opportunities in Newton’s absence.
In other words, Newton could ill afford to miss a lot of time.
On Thursday, head coach Bill Belichick dropped a quote that indicated Newton wouldn’t be sidelined for very long at all. Though the former No. 1 overall pick would end up missing Thursday’s session, it seemed like his return was imminent.
Well, fast forward to Monday and Belichick confirmed Newton will participate in mandatory minicamp this week — and had even practiced surreptitiously last Friday.
So much for that injury saga, right?
Cam Newton will participate in Patriots minicamp this week.
This is huge news for the Patriots, as Newton was being deployed as the starting QB in the six practices before his hand collided with a teammate’s helmet.
What’s even better? Minicamp, which lasts through Wednesday, will give reporters an excellent opportunity to see how the former MVP’s hand is going following the injury. These sessions will be open to select members of the Patriots media, so fans should have a thorough report on how Newton looked throwing the pigskin in relatively short order.
If we had to guess, we’d say the concern level regarding Newton’s status isn’t very high, as Belichick surprisingly revealed the 31-year-old QB was a participant at Friday’s practice. If that doesn’t put an end to Newton’s injury saga, we’re not sure what will.
The Patriots obviously wouldn’t trot Newton out there if he wasn’t ready, so team doctors and coaching staff evidently aren’t concerned about the injury lingering. After how he performed last season, that’s really all the incumbent starter could ask for as he looks to make it clear he’s the only quarterback on the roster who deserves consideration for the No. 1 spot.
We’ll know soon enough whether Jones is up for the challenge, but right now all Patriots fans should be concerned about is that Newton is back on the practice field. After all, if Jones were somehow thrust into the starting role this early into his official offseason, Belichick would have some serious questions to answer.