Patriots QB Cam Newton: Stephon Gilmore testing positive for COVID-19 after me was ‘my worst nightmare’

Cam Newton’s first thought was that the result was wrong.

When the quarterback found out that he tested positive for COVID-19, he hoped for a false positive. The 31-year-old didn’t have any symptoms and said on Monday, during his interview on WEEI’s “Greg Hill Show,” that he had no idea how he contracted the virus.

The situation for Newton and the Patriots turned into a nightmare. He thought about how much time he spent in Gillette Stadium with his teammates. Then, five days later, his stomach dropped when it was discovered that Stephon Gilmore, who was in close contact with Newton, also tested positive.

On Monday morning, Newton opened up about his COVID-19 result and the aftermath.

“I think the biggest scare here for everybody was just my, I guess, daily routine of how many hours I put in the facility,” said Newton. “And if I contracted it, if anybody would have had a red flag, I think it would have been me. Here’s a person who’s here as long as he is. Who was he around? Who did he touch? And I was more concerned about it, because I didn’t want to put nobody else on the team in jeopardy for this.

“The fact that Steph contracted it was my worst nightmare being that I would never want to sabotage anything to the slightest degree, because I know what we have the capability of becoming. And yet, through it all, we saw it and got a better understanding of it.”

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New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham (4) walks behind quarterback Cam Newton (1) after Newton threw an interception during the second half of their loss to the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. (Photo: Winslow Townson, USA TODAY Sports)

After retuning to New England from Kansas City, Gilmore, Bill Murray and Byron Cowart all ended up on the COVID-19/Reserve list. Last week, James Ferentz, Sony Michel, Derek Rivers and Shaq Mason ended up on that reserve list.

Newton wouldn’t confirm or deny the ESPN report that he was spotted out to dinner with Gilmore before the quarterback tested positive. 

Both Newton and Gilmore returned to play on Sunday. The quarterback said it was nice to be back after being shocked that he tested positive and couldn’t play in Kansas City.

“Here I am, I get prepared for something, and then I find out the day before (the Chiefs game) that I’m not going to go,” Newton said. “I was thinking as optimistic as could be. I was like, ‘Man, it’s a false positive.’ Then it ended up being true.

“You go through it, games get rescheduled and you just sit to wonder. You can’t do anything. You can’t work out. And obviously, me being who I am, it’s not like you could just take this time to go vacation somewhere. So, through it all, it has been weird. It has been an adjustment to your routine. But yet, people don’t pay attention to all of that stuff. They just want production, and so do I.”

Leading up to their loss against Denver, the Patriots had one full practice before scoring just 12 points against the Broncos. Newton said he’s only looking up.

“The sky may be falling for the next couple of days,” Newton said. “Listen, I’ll bring my umbrella, my raincoat and everything else that I need to get the job done. I know we will get the job done (and) here moving forward we’ll have more production in a positive way.”

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