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If Cam Newton Doesn't Play, Jarrett Stidham Will Reportedly Start For Patriots In Week 5

BOSTON (CBS) -- If Cam Newton can't play Monday against the Denver Broncos, the Patriots will reportedly turn to Jarrett Stidham at quarterback.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Bill Belichick will give his second-year QB the start against the Broncos if Newton is unable to play. It would be the first career start for Stidham, who began Week 4's 26-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs as Brian Hoyer's backup.

Hoyer struggled mightily in last week's loss, making a key mental mistake at the end of the first half that cost the Patriots points. He was sacked with the Patriots in field goal range as time expired ahead of halftime, a monumental no-no as New England did not have any timeouts. He took another red zone sack in the third quarter, fumbling the ball in the process. The veteran finished with just 130 passing yards and two turnovers.

Stidham was only slightly better in his relief effort when he came in late in the third quarter. He threw a touchdown to cap off his first drive of the game, but also threw a pair of interceptions. He finished 5-for-13 for 60 yards in the loss.

In four career appearances, Stidham is 7-for-17 for 74 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

New England's Week 5 matchup with the Broncos was pushed from Sunday afternoon to Monday evening, so there's a slight chance that Newton may be able to return, even though he tested positive for COVID-19 just last weekend.

But if Newton doesn't suit up, it sounds like the Patriots will be starting their third different quarterback in a three-week span.

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