Aug 29, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) appears on through the first half in opposition to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Obligatory Credit score: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports activities
September 1, 2021
By Frank Pingue
(Reuters) – New England Patriots head coach Invoice Belichick stated on Wednesday the choice to chop quarterback Cam Newton, who missed follow time final week as a consequence of what the crew known as a COVID-19 protocol misunderstanding, had nothing to do along with his vaccination standing.
Newton, who has not confirmed whether or not he has been vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, was the NFL’s Most Invaluable Participant in 2015 and commenced coaching camp because the Patriots’ beginning quarterback. He was outplayed by rookie Mac Jones, who has been named New England’s starter for the upcoming season.
Belichick, talking to reporters for the primary time since Newton was reduce on Tuesday because the crew moved to trim its roster to the NFL-mandated 53 gamers, was unequivocal when requested if the quarterback’s vaccination standing performed a task in his launch.
“No,” stated Belichick. “No, I imply, look, you guys preserve speaking about that … however the variety of gamers and coaches and employees members which have been affected by COVID on this coaching camp who’ve been vaccinated is a reasonably excessive quantity, so I wouldn’t lose sight of that.”
Whereas Newton has not disclosed his vaccination standing, saying it was too private a difficulty to debate, he did undergo a five-day program final week that solely applies to unvaccinated NFL gamers.
As soon as one of many NFL’s most electrifying gamers whereas a member of the Carolina Panthers, Newton joined the Patriots in July 2020 because the crew have been determined to exchange Tom Brady, who left to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Newton was spectacular in main the Patriots to victories in two of their first three video games of the 2020 season earlier than being sidelined after testing optimistic for COVID-19.
He completed the season throwing simply eight touchdowns in opposition to 10 interceptions and his future with the crew was put in query when the Patriots chosen Jones with the fifteenth total decide of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Newton broke into the NFL in 2011 when Carolina took him with the highest decide in that yr’s draft. His finest season got here in 2015, when he led the crew to a 15-1 common season document en path to the Tremendous Bowl, which Carolina misplaced to the Denver Broncos.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Enhancing by Invoice Berkrot)