Newton (illness), who was ruled out for the Patriots' Week 4 game in Kansas City after testing positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, is unlikely to receive clearance to play until after New England's Week 6 bye, Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network report.

While it's not clear at this point whether Newton is asymptomatic or not, before he's allowed to play again, he'll have to pass two COVID-19 tests conducted at least 24 hours apart once the virus leaves his body. As the report notes, doing so in a seven-day period will be tall order, making it doubtful that Newton receives the green light to rejoin the Patriots ahead of their Week 5 matchup with the Broncos on Oct. 11. The Patriots' Week 4 game in Kansas City is expected to be held Monday, pending no additional positive COVID-19 tests from either team. Head coach Bill Belichick has yet to announce a replacement in the starting lineup for Newton in Week 4, but veteran Brian Hoyer is expected to receive the nod over second-year signal-caller Jarrett Stidham.

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