Bill Belichick addresses Cam Newton’s absence after COVID-19 violation

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Cam Newton spent the last five days away from Gillette Stadium after being mandated to do so by the NFL.

According to a statement made by the team earlier in the week, the quarterback was unable to return after leaving the New England area for a medical appointment due to the league’s current COVID-19 policy. He then accidentally missed a mandatory test in what the Patriots called a “misunderstanding.”

During Thursday’s media availability prior to Newton’s return at the joint practice with the New York Giants, Bill Belichick was asked if his quarterback violated team rules and which side was lacking understanding.

“No,” Belichick said Thursday morning. “He didn’t go against team rules, but there was a misunderstanding, and it’s exactly what I said it was in the statement.”

When Shaughnessy asked for more clarification and comment on the absence, Belichick continued to reference the statement the team put out.

Shaughnessy isn’t wrong for his line of questioning. It has been confusing for everyone that a team that has been so on top of everything somehow had a misunderstanding that cost their starting quarterback almost a week’s worth of practices.

It’s unlikely that we’ll find out exactly what happened that caused this lapse unless Newton shares the information himself. For now, the error is on the team’s shoulders.