Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was the first high-profile player to test positive for COVID-19 during the 2020 season, and although he only missed one game, he said the time he was away from the team set him back significantly.
Newton said on Brandon Marshall’s podcast that he never really felt like he caught up mentally after returning.
“I was one of the first football players to catch it, and it happened so fast,” Newton said, via 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.”
The Patriots were 2-1 and Newton was averaging 238 yards passing and 50 yards rushing a game when Newton went out with COVID-19. After he came back, the Patriots went 5-7 and Newton averaged 162 yards passing and 37 yards rushing a game.