BOSTON (CBS) — Cam Newton was back on the field for the Patriots on Sunday, just over two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. He didn’t want to chat about having the virus Sunday afternoon after the Patriots fell to the Broncos, 18-12, but opened up a bit more during his Monday morning radio interview on WEEI.
Newton told The Greg Hill Show that he still doesn’t know how he got the virus, but said that it certainly threw a wrench in his and New England’s season. The 31-year-old’s positive test came out just one day ahead of the Patriots’ battle with the Kansas City Chiefs, prompting the NFL to push that game back by a day.
What followed was, Newton said, the strangest two weeks of his career.
“Here I am, I am getting prepared for something, and then I find out the day before the game that I’m not going to go,” Newton recalled. “I was thinking as optimistic as could be, that it was a false positive. Then it ended up being true.
“You go through it, games get rescheduled and you just sit and wonder,” he continued. “You can’t do anything. You can’t work out. And obviously, me being who I am, it’s not like you could just take this time to go vacation somewhere. So, through it all, it has been weird. It has been an adjustment to your routine. But people don’t pay attention to all of that stuff. They just want production, and so do I.”
Newton didn’t have any symptoms throughout his bout with the virus, but it certainly led to more headaches for the Patriots. A few days after the team traveled to Kansas City for their Week 4 game, cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive for COVID.
Prior to his diagnosis, no one was at New England’s facility more than Newton. His positive test, and the positive tests by his teammates that followed, forced the Patriots to shut down their facilities and they had just one real practice in the two weeks between their loss to Kansas City and Sunday’s re-scheduled game against the Broncos.
“I think the biggest scare here for everybody was just my, I guess, daily routine of how many hours I put in the facility,” Newton said Monday. “And if I contracted it, if anybody would have had a red flag, I think it would have been me. Here’s a person who’s here as long as he is. Who was he around? Who did he touch? And I was more concerned about it, because I didn’t want to put nobody else on the team in jeopardy for this.
“The fact that Steph contracted it was my worst nightmare, being that I would never want to sabotage anything to the slightest degree, because I know what we have the capability of becoming. And yet, through it all, we saw it and got a better understanding of it,” he added.
Newton and Gilmore reportedly had dinner together the night before Newton’s positive test was revealed. The quarterback wouldn’t confirm or deny that report by ESPN on Monday, but he isn’t surprised at the attention that the story garnered.
But he is done talking about what happened a few weeks ago, and is now setting his sights on helping the Patriots get back on track this weekend with a win over the visiting San Francisco 49ers.
“All of my attention moving forward is on to San Francisco; making the proper adjustments from yesterday and moving forward. Me and Stephon dwelling on things that are in the past, at this point it’s irrelevant,” he said. “There is no point on me keep harping on something. I’m passed that phase, this team is passed that phase, and our hearts are on how we can get to 3-3 rather than something we already overcame.”