On Thursday, Belichick was asked about Newton’s status after he was limited in Wednesday’s practice with an abdominal injury:
“We’ll update it throughout the week here, and depending on how it goes, if there’s an adjustment we need to make, we’ll make it,” Belichick responded, via Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald.
Newton has started 10 of the Patriots’ 11 games so far through in 2020. He hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire since testing positive for COVID-19 and missing a game for that, but New England has won three of its past four games to sit at 5-6, on the outer fringes of the AFC playoff race.
If Newton’s abdominal injury keeps him sidelined in L.A., Belichick will turn to either Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer – both of whom struggled in limited action earlier this season. Hoyer got the start for the Patriots against the Kansas City Chiefs when Newton missed that game due to COVID-19, but he was benched in favor of Stidham for poor play. Stidham didn’t fare any better.
Newton has four passing TDs (and nine rushing TDs) against nine interceptions in 2020, with a passer rating of 79.8. The Patriots are averaging a modest 20.8 points per game, which ranks 27th in the NFL. Their passing offense ranks 29th in the league.
in franchise history (9-of-18 for 84 yards, with two picks). While the veteran quarterback has struggled for much of this season, New England would certainly rather have him under center than one of the backups.