FOXBORO (CBS) – Patriots head coach Bill Belichick famously said “dependability is more important than ability.”
So did that come into play when it came to the decision to go with Mac Jones over a seemingly unvaccinated Cam Newton at quarterback?
Newton was forced to be away from the team for five days due to what the team called a misunderstanding of league’s COVID protocols.
The quarterback had traveled to a team-approved medical appointment and tested negative each day he was gone, but did not satisfy the NFL’s policy.
As a result, he missed three practices, including a critical joint session against the New York Giants. In that practice, Mac Jones thrived while taking all of the first team reps.
On Tuesday, Belichick shocked the football world when he released Newton and handed the job to the rookie Jones.
WBZ-TV Sports Director Steve Burton said his understanding of what led up to Newton’s COVID violation is that the veteran quarterback went to Atlanta to have a doctor check on an ankle injury, and also wanted to see his children.
The team approved the visit, but according to Burton, Newton left Foxboro without being tested, which violated protocol.
While Newton said earlier this summer that he didn’t care to share his vaccination status, his absence indicated that he is not fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated players are only tested once every 14 days, and they don’t face travel restrictions.
Personnel who are not fully vaccinated must undergo testing through the NFL’s approved lab every day, and they face travel restrictions.
“The week that Cam Newton missed was the biggest selling point for Mac Jones. He came through big time that week,” Burton said … READ MORE.