New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was reportedly placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, and the NFL subsequently postponed the Patriots' game against the Kansas City Chiefs scheduled for Sunday.
The Patriots announced Saturday that one of their players tested positive for COVID-19, but they did not identify the player:
The team said the player entered self-quarantine and that all other players who came into contact with that player had their point of care tests come back negative Saturday morning.
The NFL postponed the game shortly after the Patriots' announcement, noting it will likely take place Monday or Tuesday:
The league's statement also noted at least one Chiefs player tested positive.
Another scheduled Week 4 game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans was postponed until Week 7 because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the Titans organization. Per ESPN, 16 Titans players and personnel members have tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result, the Steelers and Titans will not play this week. The Titans were supposed to have a bye in Week 7, but they will face the Steelers then instead. The Steelers were scheduled to face the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7, but that game was moved to Week 8, and the Ravens' bye was moved from Week 8 to Week 7.
If the Patriots-Chiefs game is played Monday or Tuesday and Newton is unavailable, the Patriots will be in a difficult position against 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes and the reigning Super Bowl champions.
Mahomes went off for 385 passing yards, four touchdowns and a rushing score in Monday's 34-20 win at the Baltimore Ravens. If Newton isn't in the fold, keeping pace with the Chiefs offense could prove impossible for the Pats.
The New England depth chart lists journeyman Brian Hoyer as Newton's backup.
Hoyer joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2009, and he has also played for the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts.
Though he is on his third stint with New England, Hoyer has never started a game for the Patriots. He is 16-22 in 38 career starts, though, and he has thrown for 10,274 yards and 52 touchdowns with 34 interceptions in 69 games overall.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick could opt to go with second-year signal-caller Jarrett Stidham as the starter even though he is third on the depth chart. Prior to the signing of Newton, Stidham was expected to replace Tom Brady as the starter this season.
The Chiefs will likely be heavy favorites to win and improve to 4-0 if the game happens. A loss would drop the Patriots to 2-2, which would be especially significant if the AFC East rival Buffalo Bills beat the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday to improve to 4-0.