Cam Newton will not be under center for the Patriots when they take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night. The reason for it and part of why this Week 4 matchup was rescheduled from Sunday to Monday revolves around the quarterback testing positive for COVID-19. Newton has since been placed on the reserve/COVID list and will be sidelined for the foreseeable future.
The quarterback took to Instagram on Sunday to react to his positive test, while also thanking those who have sent him well wishes. He also noted that he "will take this time to get healthy."
The Patriots released a statement on Saturday, revealing that an unnamed player (later known to be Newton) tested positive and immediately self-quarantined. To this point, no other Patriots players have tested positive for COVID-19.
Newton led New England to a 2-1 record entering Week 4 and was enjoying a resurgence to his NFL career. Through three games he has able to complete 68.1% of his passes for 714 yards, two touchdowns and two picks. Where he's been especially dominant is on the ground, rushing for 149 yards and a league-leading four touchdowns.
Now, Brian Hoyer is expected to get the start for the Patriots when they take on Kansas City. Hoyer has 38 starts under his belt but none have come with the Patriots, despite being on his third stint with the club.
As for how quickly Newton can return, it depends on whether or not he's asymptomatic. According to the NFL's guidelines following a positive test, if the player is showing no symptoms, he cannot return until 10 days have passed since the initial positive test or five days have passed since the initial positive test coupled with two consecutive negative PCR virus tests separated by 24 hours. The return must also be approved by the team physician, after consultation with ICS and the NFL's chief medical officer.
If the player has tested positive and is symptomatic, he cannot return until 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. The player must also have at least 72 hours pass since symptoms last occurred and his return must be approved by the club physician after consultation with ICS and the NFL's chief medical officer.