FOXBORO (CBS) – The Patriots appear to be frustrated with the NFL’s handling of a recent string of coronavirus cases. But there could be an upside for New England.
The team’s game against the Denver Broncos was initially scheduled for Sunday, then moved to Monday, and then postponed, reportedly to next week.
As a result, the Patriots and Broncos both have a bye this weekend. For the Patriots, that could actually be a major break, despite the difficult situation they’ve been in.
Quarterback Cam Newton was forced to miss last week’s loss against the Kansas City Chiefs after he was the first player on the team to test positive for coronavirus. Brian Hoyer struggled mightily, and Jarrett Stidham didn’t do much better in relief.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, as of Saturday night, the Patriots ‘weren’t certain” if Newton would be cleared from COVID-19 protocol to play Monday. Now with a bye week before the Broncos game, Pelissero said Newton’s chances “go up for not missing another game.”
As of last night, the #Patriots weren't certain if QB Cam Newton would be cleared from COVID-19 protocol in time to play Monday night. With this now an unexpected bye week, Newton's chances go up for not missing another game.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 11, 2020
A potential Newton return would provide a silver lining in an otherwise unpleasant situation for the Patriots.