Brian Hoyer started in place of Newton in the Patriots’ loss Oct. 5 at Kansas City. Hoyer was benched during the game in favor of Jarrett Stidham.
The Patriots-Broncos game was delayed a week by the NFL after it was originally scheduled for last Sunday as part of the Week 5 slate. Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the reigning NFL defensive player of the year, played against the Chiefs but tested positive for the coronavirus two days later. Gilmore confirmed his positive test on social media.
Coach Bill Belichick had been noncommittal about his quarterback plans for the rescheduled game, declining to say whether Hoyer or Stidham would start if Newton remained unavailable. Now, it appears, he won’t have to make that choice.
Newton, the league MVP for the Carolina Panthers during the 2015 season, signed with the Patriots in July and played well while leading them to two victories in their first three games of the season.