Patriots

Patriots Talk: Cam Newton damaged his case this week. How much?

Patriots

The New England Patriots still have one preseason game left, Sunday against the New York Giants, but one very big question is lingering over the team's regular season opener on Sept. 12: who will be the starting quarterback?

Given the recent developments with incumbent Cam Newton and his "misunderstanding" of COVID-19 protocols, Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry wonder if rookie Mac Jones has an opportunity to win the starting job in Newton's absence this week.

Patriots Talk Podcast: Cam Newton damaged his case this week. How much? Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"Cam had a chance to build off two really good days last week," Curran said. "That's gone."

Report: Pats frustrated with Newton, and Mac Jones could benefit

Perry said that those two days -- one a joint practice with the Philadelphia Eagles, the other a preseason game -- should still be a part of the overall evaluation of Newton, but agrees that any momentum Newton had built up is gone.

Should Jones supplant Newton atop the depth chart, will missing practice time due to a breach of protocols qualify as an excuse?

Curran rattled off a laundry list of other excuses that have been made for Newton during his stint in New England, including his shoulder, (lack of) weapons, contracting COVID-19 early last season, etc.

"This, to me, provides the latest excuse for him in the Cam Newton excuse generating machine," Curran said.

 
Perry: Mac Jones takes full advantage of increased reps Tuesday

When Newton is eligible to return to practice Thursday, Perry said he'll be "very surprised" if he is still QB1, noting that it's not like he was automatically receiving the majority of first team reps even before this week.

"Given what we know about this team, that dependability is more important than ability," he said. "Everybody needs to establish their level."

Curran said that it's the perfect time for the Patriots to make the move to Jones.

Also discussed in the new episode: Is not being vaccinated a legitimate reason for demotion? Perry also shares his thoughts on how Jones has looked at practice without Newton the last two days.

Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube below: