New England Patriots star quarterback Cam Newton has tested positive for the coronavirus and is out for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, according to reports.
Newton’s illness has not yet infected other Patriots players, but it puts Sunday’s game in jeopardy, as more positive results may surface on the team in the coming days. His illness comes in the same week that at least 16 Tennessee Titans players and staffers tested positive, a move that led to the postponement of the team’s game this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The uncertainty surrounding Newton leaves the ball squarely in the NFL’s court on whether the Patriots-Chiefs game will go on as scheduled. Unlike other professional sports leagues, the NFL has not resorted to isolating its teams in a “bubble” to prevent infections. So far, it has had few cases, but this latest outbreak raises red flags on the overall strategy.
The Patriots issued a statement without naming Newton. “The health and safety of our team, as well as our opponent, are of highest priority,” the Patriots statement said.
Newton is a key player for the Patriots. The 31-year-old quarterback has led them to a 2-1 record and accounted for six touchdowns, including four rushing.