Cam Newton testing positive for Covid-19 has not just forced the NFL to postpone the New England Patriots’ game against the Kansas City Chiefs, it also puts the quarterback’s availability beyond that contest in jeopardy. After all, Newton will now have to follow the league’s timeline for players testing positive for the Coronavirus.
How does that timeline look like? That depends on whether or not Newton, just like all other players or team personnel testing positive, develops symptoms — most commonly fever, a dry cough and tiredness.
- Newton shows no symptoms: If Newton does not develop any of the symptoms associated with Covid-19, a return is prohibited until 10 days have passed since the first positive test or five days have passed since that first test if two consecutive tests separated by 24 hours turn out negative. Furthermore, club and NFL physicians will have to give the green light while guidelines and requirements defined by Massachusetts’ local government also need to be fulfilled.
- Newton shows symptoms: If the Patriots’ quarterback demonstrates Coronavirus symptoms he will not be allowed to return until at least 10 days have passed since those symptoms first appeared and at least 72 hours since he last showed them. A return, once again, will have to be approved by the Patriots and by NFL physicians while once again fulfilling local guidelines and requirements.
The Patriots’ upcoming schedule is very much in flux right now, but in its current form Newton would have to sit out at least the game against the Chiefs on either Monday or more likely Tuesday:
Week 4: at Kansas City Chiefs
Week 5: vs Denver Broncos
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: vs San Francisco 49ers
The 31-year-old might be allowed back as early as next Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos, though: he was first tested positive on Friday night, and if he a) develops no symptoms and b) is tested negative twice at least 24 hours apart, he should receive the green light to rejoin his teammates next week.
Of course, a lot will depend on the next few hours and days and whether the virus starts spreading like it did within the Tennessee Titans organization. If more tests come back positive in New England and/or Kansas City — the team also had one player test positive on Saturday: practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta’amu — the game against the Chiefs might have to be pushed back even further. Accordingly, there is a non-zero chance that Newton may end up not missing any games at all depend on his own progress.
At this point in time, however, this is all just speculation. The only thing we know for sure is that the Patriots have moved him to the Reserve/Covid-19 list and that Newton will have to spend at least five days there.