Unvaccinated Patriots QB Cam Newton to miss four days of practice due to misinterpretation of NFL's COVID-19 protocols

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Quarterback Cam Newton will miss most of this week’s New England Patriots practices due to a misinterpretation of NFL rules regarding COVID-19 testing.

Monday, the Pats began their 16th day of training camp, but Newton was absent at the start of practice. This marked the first missed practice for Newton of the 2021 season. The Patriots released a statement, explaining that because Newton left the New England area and received a daily COVID-19 test away from an NFL facility, the quarterback is now required to stay away from the team for five days.

Newton will be allowed to return to Gillette Stadium on Thursday. This means he’ll miss the first four days of camp this week, including the start of Patriots joint practices with the New York Giants on Wednesday. It’s unknown if Newton will be allowed to practice on Thursday, which is scheduled to be the Patriots last session of the week, nor is it known if the time away will force Newton out of the Patriots preseason finale.

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Patriots quarterback Cam Newton drops back to pass against the Eagles during the first quarter Thursday night.
Patriots quarterback Cam Newton drops back to pass against the Eagles during the first quarter Thursday night.

“On Saturday, Cam Newton traveled to a Club-approved medical appointment that required him to leave the New England area. He received daily Covid tests, which were all negative," read the team's statement. "Due to a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities, and as required by the NFL-NFLPA protocols, Cam will be subject to the five-day entry cadence process before returning to the facility. Cam will continue participating virtually in team activities and return to the club facility on Thursday, August 26.”

The regimen of daily testing means that Newton isn’t vaccinated for COVID-19 given only unvaccinated players are subject to the five-day reentry process.

With Newton out, it paves a path for rookie Mac Jones to take the Patriots starting quarterback reps this week and potentially in the team’s final preseason game against the Giants.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Patriots' Cam Newton to miss four practices due to COVID-19 protocols