The Patriots are expected to go with Jarrett Stidham rather than Hoyer as their starting quarterback for Monday's game against the Broncos in the event Cam Newton isn't cleared to return from the reserve/COVID-19 list in advance of the Week 5 contest, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports.

According to Michael Giardi and Judy Battista of NFL Network, Newton has been asymptomatic since testing positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 3 and could be cleared to practice Saturday, but he'll first need to submit two negative test results separated by at least 24 hours. If Newton isn't able to clear all COVID-19-related protocols in advance of Monday's game, the Patriots are seemingly prepared to break in their third starting quarterback of the season in Stidham, who relieved a struggling Hoyer in New England's Week 4 loss to the Chiefs. Hoyer completed 15 of 24 attempts for 130 yards, no touchdowns and an interception while taking two sacks and losing a fumble before he was pulled from the contest late in the third quarter of the Patriots' 26-10 loss.

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