Cam Newton, who was inactive during the Patriots' 26-10 loss to the Chiefs on Monday after he tested positive for COVID-19, was asymptomatic before the game, according to ESPN. Newton, who reportedly tested positive on Oct. 2, could be able to return to practice as early as Thursday as long as he does not exhibit any symptoms, has two negative tests 24 hours apart, and is cleared by a team doctor.
Newton's positive test result led to the NFL postponing the Patriots' Week 4 game against the Chiefs from Sunday to Monday night. Despite not having its starting quarterback, New England only trailed by a field goal and was threatening to take the lead with four minutes remaining in the third quarter. But a critical fumble in the red zone by backup quarterback Brian Hoyer, along with two fourth-quarter interceptions from fellow backup Jarrett Stidham, allowed the Chiefs to distance themselves from the Patriots in the game's final stanza.
Here's a look at how the two quarterbacks fared in Monday's loss, as the Patriots are now 2-2 and two games behind the undefeated Bills in the AFC East.
Despite scoring just 10 points, the Patriots actually had more first downs and total yards than the Chiefs, who ran just 55 plays compared to New England's 74. The Patriots had nearly twice as many rushing yards, with Damien Harris rushing for 100 of his team's 185 yards on the ground. The three turnovers, as well as Hoyer taking a sack on the final play of the first half -- which prevented New England from attempting a game-tying field goal -- were too much to overcome.
The Chiefs were also the recipient of a premature whistle that wiped out what appeared to be a forced fumble of Mahomes by Patriots pass rusher Chase Winovich midway through the second quarter. Because the play was whistled dead before the fumble, Patriots coach Bill Belichick could not issue a challenge.
Newton's return would certainly be a welcome sight for the Patriots, who will look to get back over .500 with a win over the visiting Broncos on Sunday. During his first three games under center for the Patriots, Newton completed 68.1% of his passes while also serving as the team's second-leading rusher. The former league MVP is 245 passing yards away from eclipsing the 30,000 mark for his career.