After missing a COVID-19 test last weekend, Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was forced to sit out three straight practices earlier this week. But on Thursday, the projected starter for New England made his return to the field.
Pats ESPN insider Mike Reiss shared an update on Newton’s return during Friday’s episode of Get Up.
“No. 1 is still QB1 for now,” Reiss said.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 27, 2021
In Newton’s absence, rookie quarterback Mac Jones took starting reps in a week of joint practice with the New York Giants. Through those three days as the team’s starting QB, the No. 15 overall pick put together a stellar performance. During Wednesday’s practice, he led the starting unit on a successful 80-yard touchdown drive in a two-minute drill — finishing the day with 35/40 passing.
If head coach Bill Belichick was looking for a natural time to insert Jones into the official starting lineup, this was the ideal scenario. The fact that Newton immediately returned to take starting reps likely indicates that Belichick will continue to rock with the former league MVP for the time being.
Newton was the first quarterback through all drills and led a touchdown drive of his own on Thursday. After practice, Reiss reports that the Pats gathered around Newton as he delivered some sort of message — perhaps a “reminder of his presence back on the field.”
Belichick has yet to reveal the QB workload for his team’s preseason finale against the Giants on Sunday.