BOSTON (CBS) — With New England’s Week 5 clash with the Denver Broncos pushed back a week following another positive COVID-19 test for the Patriots, it increases the chances that quarterback Cam Newton will be able to play in the game.
Newton, who tested positive for COVID-19 back on Oct. 2, has reportedly been asymptomatic throughout his bout with the virus. Per NFL rules, those who tested positive but have been asymptomatic can return 10 days after their initial positive test, or after producing two negative tests 24 hours apart.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick explained Monday why those two negative tests may be tough to achieve, but in Newton’s case, it has now been 11 days since his first positive test. So even if he continues to test positive, he’ll just need to receive clearance from team and NFL doctors in order to return.
The same goes for cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who tested positive one week ago. He too has been asymptomatic over the last seven days, and posted Monday on his Instagram account that he was “ready to be back in action.” He too could be cleared before Sunday’s game against the Broncos.
But when it comes to when two of his star players could be cleared to return, Belichick isn’t sure when that will happen. He has constantly reminded us that he is no doctor since Newton’s positive test, and he once again took that approach Tuesday when addressing the media over a video conference.
“I am not sure what exactly the schedule is in terms of when those guys will do the things they need to do,” said Belichick. “Some of that has to be scheduled outside of the building so I’ll leave that to the medical department.”
The Patriots have Tuesday off but will return to the practice field on Wednesday — barring any additional positive tests. But we could see Newton back on the field as early as Wednesday, with Gilmore potentially following a few days later.