playSchefter: Cam Newton poised to face Drew Lock on Sunday (0:50)Adam Schefter reports on Cam Newton’s expected return to practice and says that it looks like the Patriots will have Newton at the helm Sunday vs. the Broncos. (0:50)4:02 PM ETMike ReissESPN Staff Writer CloseCovered Patriots since 1997
Joined ESPN in 2009FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — When the New England Patriots return to practice on Thursday, quarterback Cam Newton is expected to rejoin them after being removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday. That would put Newton on track to start Sunday at home against the Denver Broncos (CBS, 1 p.m. ET). Newton had gone on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Oct. 3 after testing positive. Patriots players returned to the facility Wednesday after three days off, although they weren’t together as a complete group. Instead, their arrivals were staggered, as the focus was on strength and conditioning work. Newton was present at the facility, according to a source. The team used its indoor practice facility as a satellite locker room as part of efforts to space out. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore also could be on the cusp of a return, according to a source, but he would have to clear a final hurdle to come off the COVID-19 reserve list for that to happen. He posted on his personal Instagram page earlier this week that he was “ready to be back in action. “Starting defensive tackle Byron Cowart and practice-squad defensive tackle Bill Murray are the other players the Patriots have placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.In Newton’s absence, the Patriots started veteran Brian Hoyer in a 26-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 5. The team was supposed to face the Broncos this past Monday, but after Cowart tested positive on Oct. 9, that game was postponed to Sunday.