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The New England Patriots are reportedly unhappy with Cam Newton’s recent mishap with the league’s COVID-19 testing protocols and his absence from the team has created a window of opportunity for rookie Mac Jones.
Newton is undergoing a five-day reentry process after he missed a day of testing while away from the team’s facility and sources told the NFL Network on Tuesday that this has created a problem for the projected starter.
“..there is a level of frustration internally with the Cam Newton situation,” NFL Network’s Michael Giardi reported. “One important member of the organization believes this has ‘opened’ a window of opportunity for rookie Mac Jones.”
Newton will be eligible to return on Thursday but in his absence, Jones, who has been making a strong case for himself as a starter in the preseason, has been getting a ton of time on the field, including on Wednesday when the Patriots begin two days of joint practices with the New York Giants.
The Patriots released a statement on Monday in response to 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,” the Patriots wrote.
“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, Aug. 26.”
The NFL Network later reported that Newton still got tested daily to abide by league rules but failed to communicate that to the team, resulting in his removal from the team’s facility.
Bill Belichick is likely among those unhappy with the situation. During a press conference, he declined to elaborate on it, saying, “The league rules are the league rules.”
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