New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore won’t practice Saturday, and he deflected questions about who will start Monday against the Denver Broncos (ESPN, 5 p.m. ET) if Newton isn’t available.
“I’m not getting into a bunch of hypotheticals. We’re taking it day by day, hour by hour,” Belichick told reporters on a morning conference call.
The Patriots reopened their facility Saturday after having worked virtually Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. A source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that there were no new positive tests from Friday’s testing, which marked a third straight day that was the case.
Newton, Gilmore and practice-squad defensive tackle Bill Murray remain on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Patriots started veteran Brian Hoyer in Newton’s absence in Monday’s 26-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Hoyer had been the No. 2 quarterback through the first four weeks of the season. Belichick wouldn’t answer whether Hoyer remains the top backup after he was pulled in favor of Jarrett Stidham late in the third quarter of that game.
Belichick kept repeating that the team is taking things “day by day” and “hour by hour.”
“One thing that we’ve learned this year, repeatedly, has been we have to be ready to adjust and adapt to changes and modifications in the way we do things, and in some cases decisions that really come down to a very short amount of time,” he said.
“I’m really not trying to make a lot of long-term decisions here, or even game decisions, until we can actually get out there today and start to go through our team preparation process together and get a better sense of where we are and what we need to do in the next 48-plus hours.”
Asked about the Patriots not being on an equal playing field with the Broncos this week because of their limited practice schedule, Belichick said it was his decision to close the team’s facility.
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