Cam Newton paused and flashed a wide smile before declaring himself “undescribable” during his weekly video chat with reporters Thursday.
As for the abdomen ailment that has him listed on the injury report, the quarterback decided indescribable would be the best way to handle those details, including whether he would be good to go against the Chargers on Sunday afternoon.
“I will be … I’m feeling as good as I should be feeling, and just have to stay on top of things and see what the trainers say,’’ said Newton, his demeanor giving a clue that he’ll be under center in Los Angeles. “Just keep getting treatment … It’s football.’’
When pressed about whether the abdomen might have been bothering during last Sunday’s win over the Cardinals, when he completed just 9 of 18 passes for 84 yards, Newton wasn’t interested in looking back.
“I’m focusing on the Chargers game, like I said. Just to keep everything kosher and everything up and up,’' he said. “Never one to blame, I am just focusing on the Chargers game.’'
In the unlikely event that Newton can’t answer the bell, the field general duties would fall to Jarrett Stidham, who has left an impression on Newton as they worked together since the summer.
“Stiddy is a person who is extremely talented, and as a lot of workman people say, he’s easy to work with,’’ Newton said. “With us having roots back at Auburn, we always have a lot of things that we can kind of joke around with.’'
Newton credited quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch with creating a positive position culture, including Brian Hoyer and practice squadder Jake Dolegala.
“Jedd does a great job with that room, with everybody getting along — from myself, Stiddy, Hoyster, and you can’t forget ‘State Farm,’ ‘‘ Newton said. “We always have our sights on getting better. That’s the standard in that room, and we just have to keep rocking and rolling.”
Folk is special
Nick Folk was named AFC special teams player of the week for the second time in less than a month after his 50-yard, buzzer-beating field goal boosted the Patriots past the Cardinals.
Folk also was honored after he hit a 51-yarder with zeros on the clock against the Jets Nov. 9. He is the first kicker in NFL history to make multiple winning field goals of 50-plus yards as time expired in a season.
Folk has hit 19 straight field goals, tying the second-longest streak of his 13-year career. He nailed 23 in a row for the Jets in 2013.
Folk’s two stints in New England have been marked by consistency and he’s earned the respect of the organization.
“Nick’s done a great job for us,’’ Bill Belichick said Thursday. “I think myself, the coaching staff, the players, everybody, we have a tremendous amount of confidence in Nick. He’s a real pro, works very hard at his job, and I would say handles the responsibility that comes with it as well as you could. He’s got great poise and a great demeanor. I think everybody feels very confident when he goes out on the field, which is a great feeling, and it’s something you have to earn. It’s not something that’s given to you or you just pick up along the way. You have to go out there and earn it. He’s certainly done that.’’
Linebacker Anfernee Jennings returned to practice after the rookie missed Wednesday’s workout because of an illness, giving the Patriots full attendance for the sweats-and-shells session.
Including Newton, the club listed 12 players as limited, including fullback Jakob Johnson, a new addition with a knee ailment, Folk (back), linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley (groin), defensive tackles Adam Butler (shoulder) and Byron Cowart (back), safety Kyle Dugger (toe), tight end Ryan Izzo (hamstring, hand), cornerback J.C. Jackson (hip), guard Shaq Mason (calf), running back J.J. Taylor (quadriceps), and specialist Matthew Slater (knee).
Andrews No. 1 in voting
David Andrews (73,958) leads NFL centers in Pro Bowl voting. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (206,525) tops the ticket regardless of position … The Patriots claimed linebacker/special teamer Jack Cichy, who was recently waived by the Buccaneers. A Wisconsin product, Cichy has battled injuries (ACL, elbow, hamstring) in each of his three pro seasons … Slater was named the Patriots’ nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. A player from each club is nominated for the honor, named for the late Steelers owner. The award goes to the “player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.’' Joey Bosa is the Chargers’ nominee … Rex Burkhead posted a post-op picture on Instagram with his left leg in a large brace. “Successful surgery Tuesday and on the road to recovery now!’’ he wrote. The running back injured the knee against the Texans Nov. 22 … The Patriots will hold an early practice Friday before heading to Los Angeles in the afternoon.