Cam Newton tests positive, most notable COVID-19 test in NFL yet - Sports Illustrated

The NFL Gets Its Most Notable Positive COVID-19 Test Yet

In this weekend's Hot Clicks: Cam Newton tests positive for COVID-19, Pac-12 After Sunrise is on and more.
Publish date:

Cam Is Positive

After a week in which the NFL dealt with the first major outbreak that forced the rescheduling of the Titans-Steelers game, the league has its most notable positive test to date: Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19.

“All options now appear to be on the table. Patriots could leave later today. Patriots could leave Sunday. Game could be postponed. As one source texted, ‘No way they can travel today,’“ Adam Schefter reported on Saturday morning. The NFL later announced the game would be rescheduled.

With Newton—who signed a one-year, $1.05-million deal with the Patriots in July—out, either second-year former fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham or 12th-year veteran Brian Hoyer will start.

Okay, Gary…

Utah State is not among the dozens of college football programs who’ve lost players to opt-outs ahead of or during the 2020 season. And if that changes, the Aggie who adds Utah State to the list isn’t welcome at the program.

“At least in our program, we don’t have an opt-out. And it’s not an option,” second-year head coach Gary Andersen told the Salt Lake Tribune. “If you opt out, you’re not with us.”

Sure, Gary, if a player opts out to protect himself and/or his family, he’s making a selfish decision and doesn’t deserve to return to the program. You must be kidding.

John Jenkins

“Masks must be worn on campus at all times and in all places (both outside and inside), except by students in their assigned residence hall rooms and by faculty and staff when alone in a private office,” reads the first bullet point of Notre Dame’s mask policy released on Aug. 20.

“University employees who disregard safety measures will be subject to disciplinary action consistent with Notre Dame disciplinary policy and procedures and the faculty handbook or academic articles.”

Does Notre Dame’s disciplinary policy apply to university president Fr. John Jenkins?

The same John Jenkins who, six weeks ago, ordered the suspension of all in-person classes after a COVID-19 spike on the South Bend campus, and was a key decision-maker in postponing last weekend’s football game against Wake Forest. The same John Jenkins who didn’t wear a mask during Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination ceremony at the White House last week.

Jenkins, who after returning from the event, during which he was widely criticized for not wearing a mask and coming in close contact with more than 100 people, said he “failed to lead by example” and regretted his error. Days after returning from Washington, D.C., Jenkins, unsurprisingly, tested positive, along with several others who attended the event, including President Donald Trump, Utah senator Mike Lee, and Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson.

In exercising, at best, reckless judgment, and, at worst, deadly judgment, Jenkins wasn’t on Notre Dame’s campus. He was not bound by the school’s policies. However, it’s still remarkably hypocritical behavior from a man who forced students off campus and imposed strict mask and social-distancing guidelines.

Pac-12 After Sunrise

Last year, the Pac-12 held preliminary discussions about the potential of playing some conference football games at 9 a.m. PT in order to generate more media revenue. At the time, the conference tabled the idea, saying, “Our interested schools need more lead time for discussions with all relevant stakeholders. There is interest from Fox and there is interest from some of our schools, but need more time to plan properly."

One year later, it’s happening: USC is hosting Arizona State at 9 a.m. PT on Saturday, Nov. 7 in what is believed to be the earliest local start time in FBS history. That game was announced on Saturday morning as part of the seven-game Pac-12 regular-season schedule that begins on Nov. 7 and concludes on Dec. 12. Conference championship weekend (which includes the conference championship and seeded matchups) is scheduled for Dec. 18-19.

Maybe an XFL rule idea?

Week 5 Lines

If you’re reading Hot Clicks before college football kicks off on Saturday, check out our new podcast episode on Week 5 college football betting. Despite a bizarre season as bettors struggle evaluating lines, betting expert Chase Kiddy has been crushing it this season. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere else.

New Trailers

Follow me on Twitter, check out my podcast, and bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.