New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday that “we’ll take it day by day” when it comes to the team’s quarterback situation.
Cam Newton, who tested positive for COVID-19, was asymptomatic as of Monday, a source confirmed to ESPN. That means it’s possible Newton could return to practice by Thursday.
Newton reportedly tested positive Friday, and he did not play in Monday night’s 26-10 loss to the Chiefs — a game that was postponed one day due to his diagnosis. He could be cleared to return in five days since his first positive test if he continues not to exhibit any symptoms, has two negative tests 24 hours apart within those five days, and is cleared by the team doctor.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Belichick told reporters when asked if he plans to stick with Monday’s starter, Brian Hoyer, if Newton isn’t ready. “We’ll make a decision on that as we get more information on all those guys, starting with Cam.”
Hoyer was ultimately replaced Monday by Jarrett Stidham.
Before leaving Kansas City on Monday, the Patriots took PCR tests, which all came back negative, a source told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.
Later Tuesday, practice squad defensive tackle Bill Murray was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Being on the reserve list does not mean a player tested positive for the coronavirus; it could also mean he has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
Newton being asymptomatic was first reported by Fox Sports.
“We’ll take it day by day. Today is Tuesday,” Belichick said during his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI. “I’m not going to try to make any predictions or read into a crystal ball on where things are going to be Friday, Saturday, or some other day in the week. There are so many unpredictable factors here. You just can’t nail them down. So we’ll work with what we can work with.”
The Patriots play host to the Denver Broncos at 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss contributed to this report.