• Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton is expected to return to practice on Thursday
  • He tested positive for COVID-19 early in October and has been in isolation for nearly two weeks
  • Newton and Stephon Gilmore are questionable for Sunday's game against the Broncos

Cam Newton has been cleared to rejoin the New England Patriots, a big sigh of relief for Pats fans. Newton tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 2 and has since been in isolation.

Newton is expected to return to practice on Thursday as he tries to reclaim his starting quarterback role, reported. With him out, Bill Belichick was forced to turn to Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham for the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Pats lost that one, 26-10.

Making matters worse for the Patriots is that other players tested positive for COVID-19 as well. These included practice player Bill Murray and defensive back Stephon Gilmore. The growing number of New England players contracting the virus led to the Pats game against the Broncos getting postponed. That game was moved to Sunday.

With Newton at the helm, the Patriots won two of their three games this season. The former NFL MVP has been churning in a good performance so far, completing 68.1% of his passes for 714 yards and rushing for 149 yards. He also has a team-high four touchdowns.

Newton has not played since the Pats' win over the Las Vegas Raiders. He was out against the Chiefs but is likely to be around when New England takes on the Broncos this Sunday, Yahoo Sports reported.

While getting their no. 1 quarterback is a big sigh of relief, Belichick still has a problem on the defensive end. Gilmore's status remains unclear, and there is a possibility that the Pats could be without their star cornerback.

“Yeah, I’m not exactly sure what the schedule is in terms of when those guys [Newton and Gilmore] will do the things they need to do,” Belichick said via WEEI. “Again, some of that’s has to be scheduled outside of the building and so forth. So I’ll leave that to the medical department. I don’t know exactly what their schedule is.”

Whether or not Newton and Gilmore will play, Belichick is expected to be ready with whoever is available this weekend. The only question there is if that will be enough to pull off a win against the Broncos.

Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots
Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots Getty Images | Maddie Meyer