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#pounditFriday, February 3, 2023

Report: Jarrett Stidham expected to start for Patriots if Cam Newton isn’t cleared

Jarrett Stidham

Neither Brian Hoyer nor Jarrett Stidham played well when given opportunities in Monday night’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, but New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick apparently feels Stidham gives the team a better chance to win in Week 5.

Cam Newton missed the Chiefs game after testing positive for the coronavirus. There’s a path to him being cleared in time to face the Denver Broncos if he has been asymptomatic and tests negative for COVID-19 several times, but there’s a good chance he will miss another game. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports was told it will be Stidham — not Hoyer — starting on Monday night against Denver if Newton cannot play.

The Patriots actually had a chance to beat the Chiefs without Newton, but Hoyer’s poor play cost them. New England went into the half trailing just 6-3 despite an interception from Hoyer and a brutal sack he took on the final drive of the second quarter. The veteran was then benched after he lost a fumble on the Patriots’ second drive of the second half.

Stidham was not much better, as the former fourth-round pick completed just 5-of-13 passes for 60 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. However, it’s hard to say how he would have fared if he started the game.

The reason Stidham was No. 2 on the depth chart last week supposedly had to do with a previous injury. That quickly became irrelevant when Hoyer was unable to get anything going. If Newton is out on Monday, Stidham seems like New England’s best option.

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