New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wouldn’t give any clues Saturday morning about who he plans to start at quarterback Monday night against the Denver Broncos.
Cam Newton remains on the COVID/reserve list and won’t practice Saturday in the Patriots’ first session of the week. Brian Hoyer started the Patriots’ Week 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs but was benched in the third quarter after displaying a lack of awareness on two red-zone opportunities. Jarrett Stidham replaced Hoyer but threw two interceptions (one of which was not his fault). Jake Dolegala remains on the Patriots’ practice squad.
Belichick wouldn’t say if he anticipates Newton being eligible to play Monday. He also wouldn’t answer when asked about his confidence level in the Patriots’ quarterback depth.
“Again, we’re hour-to-hour,” Belichick said. “So, 8:30 (a.m. ET) on Saturday morning. We’ll practice and go through the next day, tomorrow to see how things — I mean, that’s the same at every position. Honestly, we haven’t seen our team since Monday night in Kansas City. We haven’t done anything together except at virtual meetings. So, I’m not sure where we are on a lot of cases. We haven’t even had in-person staff meetings. We’ve been able to talk about things but that’s — talking about things is one thing, doing it, that’s a whole other story.
“So, we’ll take it as it comes. I appreciate all the questions. I mean they’re all the same, just change the name and the subject and they’re all the same. But I’m not trying to make decisions about Sunday, Monday, or anything else. Trying to make the most of our opportunity today, and we’ll evaluate that and see what we need to do next. And continue those preparations up until game time. Sorry, I can’t give you a better answer to those questions. They’re all the same question, but unfortunately, the answers are all the same too.”
Belichick has not been short on praise for his team’s quarterbacks dating back to the summer.
NFL rules seem to indicate that Newton can play Week 5 if he stays asymptomatic since Monday will mark 10 days since his initial positive test. He will need to be cleared by the Patriots’ team physician, however.