Injuries. COVID-19. A lack of practice time. If the New England Patriots made excuses, they'd have plenty to blame for their lackluster 2-3 start to the season.
But as the team prepares for its Week 7 matchup vs. the San Francisco 49ers, Cam Newton knows excuses aren't going to fly.
The Patriots are back to a regular practice schedule and have plenty of reinforcements set to return from injured reserve and the reserve/COVID-19 list. As they regain a sense of normalcy following a challenging couple of weeks, Newton knows they have to start playing up to their potential.
"I would say our excuse basket is running real low," Newton said. "We're getting guys back that we missed for weeks and even though we're missing a couple other guys, we've got enough to compete with anybody, and I mean anybody. For us, it's not necessarily about the team that we're facing, it's just about us accepting the challenge of saying we haven't played a turnover-free game yet. Let's see what that looks like."
Newton threw for only 157 yards, tossed two interceptions, and was strip-sacked in the Patriots' 18-12 loss to the Denver Broncos.
New England will hope for better results on Sunday. Fortunately for Newton, he'll have center David Andrews and guard Shaq Mason back on the offensive line vs. San Francisco.
Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday.