Patriots quarterback Cam Newton said on Friday that he doesn’t think missing five days of practice after a violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocols caused him to be released from the team, but he said he wouldn’t have gone to Atlanta to see a doctor about his foot if he knew it would result in being away from the team for a longer period of time.
Newton said he went to the doctor who diagnosed his Lisfranc injury several years ago because it was his last chance to do so before the start of the regular season. As the Patriots noted in a statement, the trip was done with the team’s knowledge and approval but Newton was held out because of “a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities.”
In a YouTube video with his father, Newton said he would “absolutely not” have gone if he’d known what the outcome would be.
“I crossed all the lines, I checked all the boxes, I dotted all my i’s. Then to find out I had to sit out, that’s when I kinda felt bamboozled, because y’all told me to go,” Newton said.
NFL protocols require unvaccinated players to test at team facilities daily. A player could test early in the morning on one day and late at night on the second day while traveling to and from the team’s city in between the tests without violating the protocol, but it’s not clear what the misunderstanding was that led Newton to miss that time in August.