Should the New England Patriots opt for youth or experience in response to Cam Newton’s absence?
Former NFL quarterback-turned-ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky argued Saturday on “SportsCenter” in favor of the Patriots starting Brian Hoyer over Jarrett Stidham in their Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton won’t play in the Week 4 matchup after he tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, forcing the Patriots to choose either Hoyer or Stidham to lead their offense.
Hoyer, 34, was Newton’s backup, and Stidham, 24, was inactive in the first three weeks of the 2020 NFL season. Orlovsky believes Hoyer represents a safer option Patriots should start Hoyer because he’s the safer option.
“Brian Hoyer is a guy who has started plenty of football games in the NFL,” Orlovsky said. “He’s one of those players who doesn’t need a ton of reps, either. He doesn’t need the reps week-to-week to understand your exact game plan physically. He has got all the mental preparation that he needs. He has played in plenty of important football games, obviously tomorrow is one that is. I feel that Brian Hoyer will give you the best chance to not lose the game.”
Hoyer is expected to start for the Patriots in Week 4, multiple sources told NESN.com’s Doug Kyed on Saturday. However, that hasn’t stopped some from predicting great things for Stidham, who entered training camp as the presumed successor to Tom Brady.
Patriots-Chiefs was scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday, but the NFL postponed the game until Monday or Tuesday in the aftermath of the Newton news.
That gives Bill Belichick and Co. a little more time to consider taking Orlovsky’s advice … or ignoring it.