Following being placed on the COVID list, Cam Newton missed one game, but almost two weeks of practice.
Upon his return, Newton struggled.
The quarterback had two of his worst games of the year his first two games back -- against the Broncos and 49ers. He did not throw a single touchdown and threw five interceptions in those games. The QB was even pulled in the blow out loss to the 49ers.
Speaking via video conference Thursday, Newton said being away for that time impacted his grasp of the offense.
“Ever since coming back from corona, to be honest with you, I felt stagnant in my thought process,” Newton said. “The play’s pre-snap production wasn’t happening fast enough for me in games. Did it happen in practice? Yeah. But still not fast enough. And even still now, I can get better.
“So each day, each week is an opportunity for me to really hone in on this offense and just do my job. That’s what it really boils down to.”
Newton said the issues had nothing to do with the "COVID fog" some brought up at the time.
“It’s just the fact that I wasn’t able to do anything for that stint while was off, and it showed," he said. "Coming back pretty much dry and knowing that as this offense goes, it evolves. And the mastermind behind everything with Josh [McDaniels], his mind doesn’t necessarily stop.
“Whether it’s a new play, whether it’s something that we’re watching (from) back in 2002, 2011, ’12, he has a plethora of plays for certain defenses that we face that he goes to, and it all starts before the snap with identifying certain things. Identifying, communicating with the offensive line, with the receivers, with the running backs — it’s my job to do so.
“And coming back from (COVID), when I did come back, I just felt behind. And the production here of late is nothing to blame more or less than me just taking ownership and responsibility that I’ve just got to be better.”
The QB has been better, as he's coming off two of his best games of the year with the common denominator being he hasn't turned the ball over in either of those games.
Newton and the Patriots will take on the Texans this Sunday.