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#pounditSaturday, April 17, 2021

Cam Newton offers explanation for poor season with Patriots

Cam Newton

Cam Newton thinks he knows why his 2020 season with the New England Patriots was so underwhelming.

Newton tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of Week 4, and did not return until Week 6. The quarterback feels that period of time away from the team cost him in terms of preparation and caused him to fall behind in learning the offense and getting in sync with his teammates.

“I was one of the first football players to catch it, and it happened so fast,” Newton said on Brandon Marshall’s “I Am Athlete” podcast, via Christopher Price of the Boston Globe. “When I came back, that’s where the lack of an offseason and the lack of time in the system really showed itself. I was behind and I was thinking too much.

“The offense kept going and I was stagnant for two weeks. It was all new terminology. I wasn’t just trying to learn a system for what it was, I was learning a 20-year system in two months.”

In three games prior to testing positive, Newton had completed 68 percent of his passes and threw for 714 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. In 12 games the rest of the way, he threw for only 1,943 yards, six touchdowns, and eight interceptions while completing about 65 percent of his passes. Neither set of numbers is great, but the pre-COVID stats are slightly better.

Newton’s 2020 has opened him up to criticism, even from kids at his own minicamp. If the quarterback’s theory is right, though, 2021 has a chance of being better.

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