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Patriots quarterback Cam Newton now eligible to return off Reserve/Covid-19 list

Related: Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore is ‘ready to be back in action’

Las Vegas Raiders v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

It has now been 10 days since Patriots quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for Covid-19. By NFL rule, if Newton has remained asymptomatic, he is now eligible to rejoin the team when New England reopens their facility.

The league rule states a player who tested positive and is asymptomatic can return once:

  • 10 days have passed since the initial positive test, OR
  • Five days have passed since the initial positive test and the player receives two negative PCR virus tests at least 24 hours apart

Appearing on ABC 11 in North Carolina earlier this week, Newton’s father, Cecil, confirmed Newton had no symptoms of the virus. Patriot players’ have Monday and Tuesday off, but this sets up Newton to return to the facility when players are welcomed back.

Newton’s father added the quarterback is excited to get back on the field. As last week’s game was postponed to this coming Sunday, the NFL return rules allow Newton a strong chance to be under center for that contest.

“If he can’t play, I’m sure he’s roaring to go to play,” Cecil Newton said. “We were close in the last game, Kansas City that is. And I know it was kind of eating him to not be a participant. But you can’t compromise the safety of the team and other associates by being selfish and saying ‘I want to play and I can put somebody else at risk.’ So we’ll be patient.”

When asked Monday afternoon when we should expect for Newton to return on WEEI’s OMF, Bill Belichick said “Whatever the league protocol is, it is.

“Any player who would come back to the team off COVID would have to go thru a medical clearance... we’ll have to see how that goes,” Belichick later added.

New England has been quite vocal about how the NFL and NFLPA has handled this situation. They have appeared to take matters into their own hands, choosing to close their facility last week and potentially having a hand in the Broncos matchup being postponed.

The Patriots will continue to operate with the health of their team as the main priority, the reasoning behind the team doctor approving Newton’s arrival. New England might require their quarterback to submit the two negative PCR tests and prove he is officially virus free, as he has reportedly not been able to provide a single negative test yet.

Whether he returns immediately or not, Newton is now eligible to rejoin the team when they deem best. It looks likely that he will suit up next weekend against Denver after missing just one game.

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