Patriots QB Cam Newton expected to return to practice Thursday

The Patriots are close to getting their QB1 back.

Cam Newton was removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday and is expected to practice Thursday, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported. His return puts him in line to play Sunday against the Broncos.

The former MVP had been on the COVID-19 list since Oct. 3, keeping him out of New England’s Week 4 loss to the Chiefs. Newton was sorely missed as Brian Hoyer, who got the starting nod, and Jarrett Stidham threw a combined three interceptions as the Pats scored their fewest points (10) since December of 2018.

New England (2-2) has won two of Newton’s three starts this season. The 10th-year QB has been stellar thus far, completing 68.1% of his passes for 714 yards and rushing for 149 yards and a team-high four touchdowns.

The Pats and Broncos were originally scheduled to play last weekend but saw their game postponed following multiple positive COVID-19 tests., including to All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Denver (1-3) is slated to have its top signal-caller back in the huddle as well. Drew Lock, who’s been sidelined since Week 2 with a shoulder sprain in his throwing arm, was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice. The second-year QB has completed 60.5% of his throws for 236 yards and a TD in about six quarters of play this season. He’ll also be a welcome addition to a Broncos offense that has struggled under the direction of Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel.

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