One of the pivotal moments of the New England Patriots’ training camp this summer was incumbent starting quarterback Cam Newton missing time because of an apparent “misunderstanding” about the NFL’s Coronavirus protocols.
Newton had traveled to a medical appointment but due to his vaccination status had to enter a five-day re-acclimation process upon his return. His absence opened the door for first-round rookie Mac Jones to earn significant reps during joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The rest is history: while Newton did start the preseason game against the Eagles (and the final one against New York a week later), he was released on roster cutdown day. Jones has been the Patriots’ undisputed QB1 ever since. Whether or not Newton being vaccinated would have changed any of this can be doubted, but his absence did force the Patriots to adapt on short notice.
Two months later, the 32-year-old has now finally gotten his Covid-19 vaccine according to a report by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport. Newton, who remained unsigned ever since his release from the Patriots, is therefore in a more comfortable position as far as free agency workouts or visits are concerned.
During his one season with the Patriots last year, the long-time Carolina Panthers starting quarterback completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 2,657 yards, 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also carried the football 127 times for 602 yards and 12 scores.