As the New England Patriots returned to the practice field on Monday, quarterback Cam Newton was conspicuous but his absence.
Newton was one of five players (not listed on either the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) or non-football-injury (NFI) lists to be missing at the start of Patriots practice.
As one is likely to imagine, the onslaught of social media speculation began to spread rapidly.
However, and thankfully, it would be short-lived.
Shortly after the start of Monday’s practice, the Patriots released the following statement, explaining Newton’s absence…
“On Saturday, Cam Newton traveled to a Club-approved medical appointment that required him to leave the New England area. He received daily Covid tests, which were all negative. Due to a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities, and as required by the NFL-NFLPA protocols, Cam will be subject to the five-day entry cadence process before returning to the facility. Cam will continue participating virtually in team activities and return to the club facility on Thursday, August 26.”
This is the first practice Newton has missed this year. The Patriots will hold internal team practices on Monday and Tuesday, leading into joint practices with the New York Giants Wednesday and Thursday.
As it currently stands, Newton will miss Wednesday’s practice, in addition to Monday and Tuesday’s sessions. He would be eligible to return on Thursday August 26 at the earliest.