FOXBOROUGH, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The New England Patriots are closing in on training camp as coronavirus testing began Monday and camp is going to look very different than before, including a new starting quarterback replacing Tom Brady.
COVID-19 testing started today and it's the battle of the quarterbacks at Gillette Stadium as many are wondering the same question: who is going to be the next starting quarterback for the New England Patriots?
Will it be Cam Newton? Will it be Jarrett Stidham or does Brian Hoyer have a shot?
In recent weeks, these quarterbacks have been split on separate coasts with Newton throwing in Los Angeles and Stidham and Hoyer leading their own throwing sessions in the Boston area.
However, now all three are in the same vicinity staring today, looking to fill the shoes of former quarterback Tom Brady.
Looking at Newton's history, he’s a 31-year-old-veteran player from the Carolina Panthers who is entering his ninth NFL season. He was the NFL's most valuable player and offensive player of the year in 2015.
Now, the big question is can Newton stay healthy for the 2020 season. Newton is coming off a shoulder and, more recently, foot injury after having surgery in December. Another question is can Newton learn the Patriots plays and ways in time.
Someone who has been taking notes for a while now is 23-year-old Jarrett Stidham. Entering his second season out of the university of auburn, the fourth round draft pick spent last off season learning behind future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.
While Stidham’s status as a backup kept him from gaining a lot of actual on-field experience, it did give him time to develop behind-the-scenes and get comfortable in the Patriots’ offense - something he took advantage of when Brady had to sit out with an elbow injury.
However, is it enough experience to secure the starting quarterback position over Newton? The two will be battling it physically on the field, most likely starting a week from today as this week is mainly coronavirus testing week.
Speaking of camp, there are a lot of restrictions already in place for this year's training camp - something both players and the organization are getting used to.