Under N.F.L. guidelines, unvaccinated gamers have to be examined daily for the virus, versus as soon as every week for vaccinated gamers, and so they can’t transfer across the staff facility or combine with teammates as freely as vaccinated gamers.
Once one of many league’s most electrifying gamers because the franchise quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, Newton had the misfortune of sustaining a critical foot damage in 2019, limiting him to 2 video games, a couple of months earlier than a brand new regime took over the entrance workplace and a pandemic disrupted low season participant motion. The Panthers launched him, however as different quarterbacks signed rapidly, Newton languished for months, reportedly unwilling to be a backup.
In the depressed marketplace for his providers, the Patriots noticed a chance. After slicing ties with Tom Brady, the team signed Newton to a one-year, incentive-heavy deal in June 2020, and he promptly beat out Jarrett Stidham in coaching camp. Starting 15 video games for New England, Newton rushed for 12 touchdowns and accomplished 65.eight % of his passes, although the offense sputtered for huge chunks of a season undermined by rare practices and meager talent gamers.
The Patriots, wanting a longtime quarterback on the roster earlier than free company started, re-signed Newton in what was a prelude to a much bigger funding on the place. For the primary time in his 22 drafts in New England, Belichick drafted a quarterback within the first spherical, taking Jones at No. 15.
No protection in 2020 might cease Jones, who at the University of Alabama threw for 4,500 yards with 41 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, main the nation with 11.2 yards per try and a 77.Four completion share. A conventional pocket passer, Jones was an outlier among the many quarterbacks chosen within the first spherical of the draft.
But the Patriots have been enamored of his consciousness, regular enchancment and command of the offense. In the preseason, he accomplished 36 of 52 passes for 388 yards and a landing.
“I’m going to be ready whenever my time comes up,” Jones mentioned Sunday night time.
That time has come, and towards the Dolphins in Week 1, he’ll most certainly begin reverse the participant he succeeded at Alabama, Tua Tagovailoa. Newton could possibly be engaging to groups with unsettled backup conditions, amongst them the Jets, Dallas, Houston and Washington. But it is usually attainable that his vaccination standing will deter different groups from signing him as a result of they don’t wish to threat disrupting their season.