FOXBOROUGH — Cam Newton popped up on the injury report Wednesday for the first time this season as the Patriots quarterback is dealing with an abdominal problem.
Newton didn’t show any signs that he was hampered during the portion of the full pads practice that the media was allowed to observe. The energetic signal-caller showed some brief dance moves and yelled out to teammates as he normally does during stretching and jogging.
Newton, who was listed as limited, played all 53 offensive snaps in Sunday’s win over the Cardinals, including the final three after he took a heavy sideline shot from Arizona’s Isaiah Simmons.
It’s unclear if Newton was hurt on that play as he did stay down momentarily before jumping up, much to the delight of cheering teammates who took exception to the hit, for which Simmons was penalized for unnecessary roughness, helping to set up Nick Folk’s winning field goal.
“I was in my right mind,’' Newton said after the game about the play. “I don’t want you guys to say, ‘He didn’t know whatever.’ I wasn’t concussed. I was trying to alleviate myself from that situation. The time I was down, to see the guys come to your protection, it means a lot. It means a lot. For them to show that, I’m pretty sure they know I’d do the same thing for them.’'
The 10-year veteran has been plagued by a plethora of injuries in recent seasons, including shoulder and foot woes, but has been physically sound this year.
He has missed just one game, and that came in Week 4 after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Bracing for a wrecking crew
James White took responsibility for Newton’s first interception last week, the running back saying he missed a pass protection assignment that led to the pocket pressure.
Blitz pick-up will be major area of concentration again this week with the club needing to contain Chargers end Joey Bosa, who is coming off one of the most dominating performances of the season.
“A one-man wrecking crew,’' coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday, asked about Bosa bullying the Bills by collecting 3 sacks, 6 tackles for losses, and 5 quarterback hits.
“I think he does everything well, really,” said Belichick. “If you just look at the Buffalo game, he made plays against the run, he made plays on short yardage, he rushed the passer in passing situations, he sacked the quarterback on play-action situations where he converted a run-read into a play-action rush. So, he’s very instinctive. He’s got a tremendous motor and he plays hard.”
White, who is an above-average pass protector with excellent pre-snap recognition skills, likely will see his share of Bosa, who was given Wednesday off because of a shin injury, with chip blocks being the order of the day.
White said the Sunday mind-set is simple.
“Just give Cam enough time to get rid of the football, pretty much,’' he said.
Coincidentally, White and Bosa went to the same high school — perennial Florida powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale. They weren’t teammates but White has followed his career
“He’s a guy that you always have to pay a lot of attention to and you’ve just got to get your hands on him, whether it’s an offensive lineman, tight end, running backs, receivers,” said White. “You can’t let a guy like that take over because it gets their team going and so you definitely have to pay more attention to a guy like that.”
CB Jackson among limited
In addition to Newton, 10 other Patriots were limited at practice, including cornerback J.C. Jackson, who suffered a hip injury late in the Arizona game.
Also limited were linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley, defensive tackles Adam Butler (shoulder) and Byron Cowart (back), safety Kyle Dugger (toe), tight end Ryan Izzo (hamstring, hand), guard Shaq Mason (calf), running back J.J. Taylor (quadriceps), and specialist Matthew Slater (knee).
Rookie linebacker Anfernee Jennings was the lone player missing from practice as he recovers from an illness.
In addition to all the active players, rookie tight end Dalton Keene returned to practice — he has been on the injured reserve because of a knee problem. He has three weeks to be activated to the roster.
Weighing in on Wednesday afternoon football, safety Devin McCourty said, “It would stink as a player to have to play in that game.” . . . Cornerback Stephon Gilmore said, “It’s weird. But that’s the type of year we’re in, 2020. A lot of challenges ahead of us, so you’ve got to be able to adjust. But it’s definitely weird watching a Wednesday football game. At least you have something to watch on TV on Wednesday. That’s how I look at it.” . . . White said his mother, Lisa, is “doing better” as she recovers from injuries suffered in a September automobile accident that claimed White’s dad, Tyrone. “It’s a process, but she’s taking it one day at a time.”