Patriots, Saints fined for COVID-19 protocol violations

By Erin Walsh | Last updated 11/29/20

A number of teams across the NFL are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, which is making Commissioner Roger Goodell crack down on health and safety protocols. Some teams have even violated protocols, including the Las Vegas Raiders, who were whacked with fines. 

The Raiders aren’t the only team to be fined this season, however. 

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the New England Patriots have been fined $350,000 for violations stemming from issues when Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19 last month. The New Orleans Saints were also fined $500,000 and stripped of a seventh-round draft pick for their maskless locker room celebration. 

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Ravens’ NIck Boyle out for season after suffering gruesome knee injury vs. Patriots

By Erin Walsh | Last updated 11/16/20

The Baltimore Ravens were upset by Cam Newton and the New England Patriots on “Sunday Night Football,” but they dropped more than just their record. 

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed after the game that Nick Boyle suffered a season-ending left knee injury in the third quarter of Sunday’s 23-17 loss, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. 

After making a four-yard catch, Boyle took a hit to his left leg, causing it to bend awkwardly. Patriots linebacker Terez Hall went right into the side of Boyle’s knee, and players immediately signaled for trainers to come onto the field. 

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Cam Newton: Patriots ‘will turn this thing around’ after loss to Bills

By Erin Walsh | Last updated 11/2/20

The New England Patriots dropped to 2-5 on the season with a 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. This is something Bill Belichick’s squad isn’t used to, but with Tom Brady gone, it’s not necessarily surprising. 

Brady’s replacement, Cam Newton, has been less than ideal so far this season. The former Carolina Panthers signal-caller could’ve won the game for the Patriots on Sunday, but fumbled with 31 seconds remaining to seal the deal for Buffalo. 

Speaking on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Monday, Newton spoke about how he believes the Patriots will turn things around, beginning next week with the New York Jets. 

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Patriots reportedly willing to trade ‘almost anyone’ before deadline

By Blake Harper | Last updated 10/30/20

With the trade deadline fast approaching, the New England Patriots have reportedly put all options on the table as they desperately try to salvage their season or perhaps giving up on this year in order to commit to building for the future.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says the team is willing to listen to offers for “almost anyone” on their roster. If they are still trying to compete this year, their focus would almost certainly be on adding some weapons on offense, as they have looked abysmal on offense in three consecutive losses to the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers.

And their intrepid arsenal of weapons took another hit Thursday, with wide receiver Julian Edelman having knee surgery Thursday that will keep him out for several games. It’s a tough blow for a team that has looked sluggish on offense, and many speculated that this would be the final straw that forces Bill Belichick to make some moves to acquire receiving talent before the trade deadline next Tuesday.

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Patriots have losing record in October or later for first time since 2002

By Erin Walsh | Last updated 10/18/20

The New England Patriots weren’t very prepared for their Week 6 matchup against the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Multiple positive COVID-19 tests resulted in New England’s practice facility being shut down for a majority of the week, and the lack of preparation resulted in an 18-12 loss. 

According to WEEI’s Ryan Hannable, this is the first time the Patriots have had a losing record in October or later since Nov. 10, 2002. New England dropped to 2-3 with the loss. 

Bill Belichick’s offense struggled significantly throughout the afternoon. Quarterback Cam Newton returned after testing positive for the coronavirus and completed 17-of-25 passes for 157 yards and no touchdowns against two interceptions. He also rushed for 76 yards and one touchdown.

Besides Newton, running back James White was the only other Patriot to crack 70-plus total yards during Sunday’s game. White reeled in eight receptions for 65 yards and had four carries for eight yards. 

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Report: Titans, Patriots on track to play Week 5 games after no new positive tests

By Erin Walsh | Last updated 10/9/20

The Tennessee Titans‘ Week 5 matchup against the Buffalo Bills was moved to Tuesday due to the organization’s coronavirus outbreak. Similarly, the New England Patriots now will play on Monday against the Denver Broncos. 

Tennessee returned all negative tests from Thursday’s round of coronavirus testing after two straight days with at least one new positive, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Following Friday’s results, the Titans are on track to take on the Bills on Tuesday. 

Pelissero also adds that the Patriots also returned zero positive tests from Thursday’s testing, but will continue to work virtually on Friday out of an abundance of caution. 

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Patriots announce first two home games will be without fans in attendance

Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Vincent Frank | Last updated 8/18/20

Those in the Foxborough area who want to get an early look at former NFL MVP Cam Newton replacing Tom Brady under center will have to wait some time.

NFL teams are starting to make announcements as it relates to whether fans will be allowed to attend games this coming season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The New England Patriots are the latest team to make said announcement.

Patriots will not have fans in attendance for first two home games this season

This means that New England’s Sept. 13 opener against the division-rival Miami Dolphins will be played in front of an empty Gillette Stadium, as will its Sept. 27 outing against the Las Vegas Raiders.

After that, it’s pretty much anyone’s best guess what will happen. The Patriots are set to host the Denver Broncos on Oct. 11 in their third home game of the season before taking on the San Francisco 49ers Oct. 25.

NFL teams announcing attendance for 2020 season

The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs announced on Monday that they’ll allow 22% of capacity for their opener against the Houston Texans on Sept. 10.

Meanwhile, other teams have already indicated that they will not have fans in attendance throughout the 2020 season. Most notably, that includes the above-mentioned Raiders in their first season representing Las Vegas.

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Report: Cam Newton agrees to one-year contract with Patriots

Cam Newton and the New England Patriots have been frequently linked, but it appeared that no signing was likely. Things have clearly changed.

As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Newton agreed to a one-year deal with the Patriots to compete for the team’s starting quarterback job.

Former NFL MVP Cam Newton has reached agreement on a one-year, incentive-laden deal with the New England Patriots, league sources tell @mortreport and me.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports | By Grey Papke | Last updated 6/28/20

Bill Belichick’s son Steve in line to become next head coach of Patriots?

Bill Belichick’s son Steve appeared to take on a much bigger role with the New England Patriots’ coaching staff last season, even if no one in the organization seems to want to acknowledge it. While many have assumed Josh McDaniels will eventually take over as the head coach of the team when the elder Belichick retires, that no longer looks like a sure thing.

Mike Florio and Chris Simms said on PFT Live recently that they could envision Steve Belichick becoming the head coach of the Patriots when Bill calls it a career. Florio said he began getting that sense when Steve took over calling defensive plays last season. Simms, who played for the Patriots for a brief period, agreed.

“I was around Steve a little bit,” Simms said, as transcribed by Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com. “He’s smart. He’s a really hard worker. I think he’s trying to stay in his father’s shadow — not to be a kiss ass or anything like that, but he wants to learn truly every little thing his dad is thinking about during a week or before a game.”

Simms also said he believes Steve Belichick’s quick rise up the Patriots’ coaching ranks could be the primary reason McDaniels got back into the head coaching conversation.

“Added to the fact that I think there are a number of people in football that look at it right now and think Belichick kind of screwed over Josh McDaniels with the coaching hires this year anyway — making him stay in the building, didn’t let him go down to Carolina and interview, never got a chance to interview with the New York Giants,” Simms said. “So, those are things I look at too and go. ‘Man, how can Josh be happy with Bill Belichick at this point now?’ I think that would favor Steve Belichick even more.”

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 4/3/20

Report: Tom Brady told people close to him he is leaving Patriots

The idea of Tom Brady playing for a team other than the New England Patriots may be a lot more realistic than many are willing to acknowledge.

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington has been saying for weeks now that Brady is more likely than not to leave more likely than not to leave the Patriots. On Thursday, the reporter said people “very close” to Brady have been told by Brady that the six-time Super Bowl champion is not returning to New England. Darlington added that he would be “stunned” if Brady re-signs with the Patriots.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 2/27/20