After suffering an injury to his throwing hand, Cam Newton will not be taking the first-team reps at New England Patriots practice for the time being. So who has Bill Belichick tabbed to get the reps that the presumptive starter is out?
On Thursday, with the choice of either third-year QB Jarrett Stidham or rookie first-round pick Mac Jones, Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels gave the bulk of reps to Stidham. ESPN’s Mike Reiss believes that the decision was made to show that Jones has to earn his reps.
Stidham may technically be the most tenured member of the Patriots QBs room, but his in-game experience is limited. He’s appeared in just eight games through his first two NFL seasons, completing 50-percent of his passes with two touchdowns and four interceptions.
It’s been widely expected that Newton and Jones will be competing for that coveted starting job. Newton was brought back for a second year after an up-and-down first year in New England, while Jones is the highest QB the Patriots have drafted since Drew Bledsoe.
QB report: With Cam Newton (right hand) not at practice, seemed like Bill Belichick/Josh McDaniels wanted to make it clear they weren’t just handing things over to Mac Jones. It was usually Jarrett Stidham leading off reps.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) June 10, 2021
Last year the New England Patriots went 7-9, but their offense was completely anemic at times. They ended up with their first losing season since 2000 and all kinds of questions heading into the offseason.
The Patriots attempted to answer those questions with one of the most aggressive free agent spending sprees we’ve ever seen. They spared no expense in bringing the top free agents at multiple positions into the fold.
But all of the additions in the world won’t amount to much if they don’t get better QB production. Whether it’s Newton, Jones or Stidham throwing the ball, one of them has to step up.
Who do you expect will start for the Patriots at QB in Week 1?