Report: Hoyer (not Stidham) expected to start in Newton's place

Brian Hoyer, not Jarrett Stidham, is expected to start in place of Cam Newton in Week 4.

A veteran quarterback will play for the New England Patriots against the Kansas City Chiefs. It just won't be Cam Newton.

Backup QB Brian Hoyer is expected to start for the Patriots whenever they play their Week 4 contest in Kansas City, which is being rescheduled from Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET to either Monday or Tuesday after positive COVID-19 tests on both teams.

Newton reportedly tested positive for the virus and is on the team's COVID-19/reserve list, leaving Hoyer and the 24-year-old Jarrett Stidham as New England's two active quarterbacks.

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Stidham, who was the Patriots' projected starter before they signed Newton in July, has been inactive for each of New England's first three games this season, as Hoyer has been Newton's lone on-field backup.

The 34-year-old's last start came with the Indianapolis Colts in Week 10 of last season, and it wasn't pretty: Hoyer completed 46.2 percent of his passes for 204 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions in a 16-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Hoyer has lost his last 16 starts dating to the 2016 season, but none were with the Patriots, and it appears his familiarity with New England's system after four-plus seasons as Tom Brady's backup is giving him the edge over Stidham.