New England Patriots

Sep 29, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham (4) warms up prior to the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

If Cam Newton is unable to return to action, Jarrett Stidham will get the call under center for the Patriots’ Week 5 head-to-head with the Denver Broncos, according to a report from Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

With the Patriots held off the practice field as the team tries to work their way through a slight COVID-19 outbreak (Newton, Stephon Gilmore, and practice squadder Bill Murray have all tested positive for the virus), and with the game moved from Sunday to Monday, all options obviously remain on the table for the Patriots.

That includes Newton, too, with La Canfora noting that Newton has been taking part in the team meetings this week.

But, again, if Newton is unable to return to play, the expected move to Stidham will come after the second-year pro replaced Brian Hoyer in the third quarter of last Monday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Quite simply, Hoyer failed to deliver the veteran know-how in that loss, as he mismanaged the clock to close out the first half (which cost the Patriots at least three points), and then turned the ball over in the redzone in his first second-half drive. Overall, the 34-year-old finished his first appearance of 2020 with 130 yards and an interception on 15-for-24 passing.

Stidham, meanwhile, checked in with five completions for 60 yards and a touchdown along with two interceptions.

The Patriots will go against a Denver defense that’s allowing 256.3 passing yards per game, which is the 12th-most in the NFL.

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