Late Saturday, the NFL's transaction wire indicated that New England placed Cam Newton on its Reserve/COVID-19 list, confirming earlier media reports that the QB had tested positive for the coronavirus. As the team prepares to fly out to Kansas City this Monday morning, it also officially announced Newton's move to the aforementioned list, meaning he's not going to play in tonight's meeting with the Super Bowl Champion Chiefs.
In other roster news, the Patriots have downgraded RB Sony Michel as well, from Questionable to Out for the Chiefs game. Michel has been limited all last week in practices with a quadriceps muscle injury which he sustained either in the win over the Las Vegas Raiders last week or in practice on Wednesday, the first day he was listed with the ailment.
With Michel a no-go in K.C. tonight, the Patriots still have plenty of running back options, including potentially activating second-year ball carrier Damien Harris off Injured Reserve. Harris returned to practices last week after missing the first three games with a hand injury that required surgery to fix, according to media reports last month. Co-captain and fellow RB James White also returned to the practice field last week (he'd been on bereavement leave) and could be back in action for the first time since Week 1.
Meanwhile, with Newton unavailable for the time being, who will step in at quarterback for the Patriots? If history is our guide, veteran Brian Hoyer, who's backed up Newton the first three games this season, will get the nod. Of course, it's always a risky proposition to project exactly what the Patriots will do with their roster and personnel decisions.
With that in mind, third-string passer Jarrett Stidham is also a consideration. Although Stidham has been inactive thus far in 2020, as the only other QB on the active roster right now, he is all but certain to be active for the Chiefs game as Hoyer's backup, at the very least.
Later today, the Patriots must deactivate a number of other players to reduce their 53-man active roster to the league-mandated game-day limit of up to 48. They could also make other roster transactions, so, check back here on patriots.com for those details and analysis thereof.