The New England Patriots started the season off with a bang. Cam Newton seemed like he was back to his MVP self, as they beat the Miami Dolphins in Week 1 and nearly beat MVP front-runner Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2.
But then after beating the Las Vegas Raiders to move to 2-1, Bill Belichick‘s nightmare started. Newton, his most important player, tested positive for COVID-19 which would sideline him for their Week 4 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.
With the absence of Newton, Belichick had to go to backup quarterback Brian Hoyer, who was ultimately benched for second-year QB Jarrett Stidham after having a miserable first-half performance–passing for just 73 yards and recording an interception.
Now the Patriots are 2-2 and got even more bad news on Wednesday when it was reported that star CB Stephon Gilmore tested positive for the virus. He is asymptomatic but will obviously be unable to participate on Sunday. New England canceled practice on Wednesday.
So now Coach Belichick has to deal with his two most valuable players unable to put on the pads but at least they get to play a banged-up Broncos team at home on Sunday.
After this week’s matchup with the Denver Broncos, the Patriots are going to need Cam Newton back because they’re playing the 49ers and Buffalo Bills in back-to-back weeks. I think it’s fair to say it is a must-win game vs Denver.
(Photo: Maddie Meyer – Getty Images)