Newton ... batting third? Isn’t he the Patriots’ assumed starter?
Look, it’s not that stunning. Bill Belichick has never handed a starting job to any newcomer on Day 1, and he’s not likely starting — even in pandemic conditions — now in his 21st season as head coach in New England.
Yes, the window to win the starting job is smaller this year. True, there hasn’t been an offseason program of any tangible note. Preseason games: zapped.
But it shouldn’t shock you that Newton is sitting behind two incumbents of sorts (Brian Hoyer is in his third stint in New England, even if he wasn’t there last season) as the team starts ramping up its on-field activity.
Belichick is sticking with his annual tradition of handing out goofy uniform numbers to rookies, so giving Newton the third crack at reps isn’t too far off that track.
A reminder that Patriots rookies don't get real numbers until the first game. This year it's:— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 12, 2020
50: Kyle Dugger
51: Josh Uche
52: Anfernee Jennings
53: Devin Asiasi
54: Dalton Keene
55: Justin Rohrwasser
58: Michael Onwenu
59: Justin Herron
60: Cassh Maluia
61: Dustin Woodard https://t.co/5auhdgxRvq
In two weeks, if Newton is still third behind Jarrett Stidham and Hoyer, then we can talk. Our belief is that Newton will be the man under center when the Miami Dolphins roll into town on Sept. 13.
For now, it’s just another reminder that Newton — who barely got any attention in free agency — is going to have to wait some more.
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