BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots will finally resume practice on Thursday — and Cam Newton will joining in on the fun.
Newton is off the NFL’s reserve/COVID list and is on track to start Sunday’s rescheduled game against the Denver Broncos. He was activated from the list on Wednesday, after spending 12 days on the list after testing positive for COVID-19 back on Oct. 2.
Thursday will be New England’s first real practice in nearly two weeks. The team spent much of last week working remotely after Stephon Gilmore tested positive after the Week 4’s loss in Kansas City, and only had a light walkthrough last Saturday before shutting down the facilities at Gillette on Sunday after Byron Cowart tested positive.
“We’re looking forward to getting back on the field today. A lot of meeting time, Webex meetings, but it’s always important to get back on the field and start to rebuild the fundamentals and execution that are so critical. We look forward to that today and throughout the week, and playing on Sunday as well,” head coach Bill Belichick said Thursday morning.
“We’ll continue to press forward with as much safety and vigilance as possible in our whole approach to football and all the things that surround it – our families and the safety of everyone around here,” he added. “We learn things every day and continue to try to take steps to put everyone’s safety at the top of the list. At the same time, try to accommodate the competitive aspects we need to perform on the field.”
Belichick was asked about Newton’s workload at Thursday’s practice, but said the team won’t know that until the session gets underway.
“We’ll have to see how it goes. We haven’t had an opportunity to do much in the last 10 days or so. We’ve been on the field really one time, so we’ll just have to see how things go here. That’s with everyone, not specific to any one player,” said Belichick. :We’ll get back into things and evaluate as we go. Just need to have a good awareness and feel for practice and see where everyone is.”
Belichick added that Gilmore has not yet been cleared for a return.
The Patriots will practice Thursday and Friday and have a walkthrough on Saturday leading up to Sunday’s game against the 1-3 Broncos at Gillette.