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Cam Newton said he has been vaccinated against contracting COVID-19 and is ready to return to the NFL.

The quarterback who was cut by the Patriots just before the season began published a video on his YouTube channel saying it’s time to get back into pro football. He is a free agent.

“Hell yeah, I still want to play football,” Newton said in the video. “I still get that urge to go out and perform and do something that I’ve been doing since I was 7 years old.”

The 2015 NFL MVP was the Patriots’ starter for most of 2020, when they went 7-9 during a pandemic-impacted season. But New England went with first-round draft choice Mac Jones this season and released the 32-year-old Newton.


Where could Cam Newton land this season?
Where could Cam Newton land this season?Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

There were COVID-19 related issues for Newton last season, and he was absent for three preseason practices this summer in what the team termed a misunderstanding about protocols.

Newton was not vaccinated when he was released, but says he now is. He added that "side effects weren’t beneficial to me” for not getting the vaccine, but was not specific about those side effects.

Prescott strained right calf

Dak Prescott promised not to miss any time after straining his right calf on the touchdown pass in overtime that gave the Cowboys their first win at New England since 1987.

Dak Prescott was injured late in Sunday's win over the Patriots.
Dak Prescott was injured late in Sunday's win over the Patriots.Stew Milne/Associated Press

The star quarterback believes he can deliver on that vow because the team is going into its open week. Even with the break, recent history with his teammates suggests Prescott’s view is optimistic.

Prescott needed help getting to the locker room after the dramatic 35-29 win over the Patriots and wore a walking boot to the postgame meeting with reporters.

The injury is in the same lower leg that needed two surgeries after Prescott’s season-ending compound fracture of his right ankle in Week 5 last year. Prescott said he didn’t know if that was any more reason for concern.


Browns RB Hunt out 4-6 weeks

The Browns will be without one of their best offensive players for quite a while.

He might have company on the sideline.

Punishing running back Kareem Hunt is expected to miss at least one month because of a significant calf injury sustained against Arizona Sunday, one of several key injuries to a Cleveland team with little time to heal.

The Browns are also awaiting further tests on quarterback Baker Mayfield’s injured left shoulder, and they aren’t sure yet if he — or other starters, including running back Nick Chubb and receiver Odell Beckham Jr. — will be able to play Thursday night when Cleveland hosts the Broncos.

Hunt, who has rushed for 361 yards and five touchdowns this season, got hurt in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 37-14 loss to the Cardinals.

Stefanski said that Hunt, who along with Chubb gives Cleveland one of the NFL’s best rushing attacks, will likely go on injured reserve, which means missing at least three games.

Stefanski said Hunt’s injury is more in the ballpark of 4-6 weeks.

Vikings CB Peterson on IR

Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson was placed on injured reserve after hurting his hamstring against Carolina and must miss a minimum of three games.

Patrick Peterson was injured late in Sunday's game against Minnesota.
Patrick Peterson was injured late in Sunday's game against Minnesota.Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Coach Mike Zimmer said the injury was not believed to be season-ending, so the 11-year veteran Peterson will be expected to return during the second half of the schedule.

Peterson was hurt on the first play of the game-tying touchdown drive by the Panthers Sunday, after covering D.J. Moore on a deep pass that fell incomplete with 2:03 remaining in regulation. Peterson tumbled out of bounds and clutched the back of his right leg in pain, before needing help to walk off the field to the opposite sideline. The Panthers then moved 96 yards in 10 more plays to force overtime, before the Vikings prevailed, 34-28.


Flores shoulders the blame

Brian Flores is trying to do the right thing.

The coach of the Dolphins hasn’t blamed his team’s 1-5 start on injuries, on not having Tua Tagovailoa for nearly four full games, on bad calls or anything else. He refuses to point the finger at just about anyone.

Except himself. And even that might not be working. Flores has been repeating similar refrains over the past five weeks, as the Dolphins have fallen from first to worst in the AFC East.

Brian Flores and the Dolphins are struggling.
Brian Flores and the Dolphins are struggling.Alastair Grant/Associated Press

▪ “Starts with me, coaching. I’ve got to do a better job.”

▪ “As a coaching staff, we need to put them in better positions.”

▪ “I’m not doing a good enough job.”

There’s something to be said for a coach taking ownership and responsibility for what’s going wrong. But the message doesn’t seem to be inspiring the Dolphins to change anything.

And of the 22 times the Dolphins have lost under Flores since the start of his tenure in 2019, the most befuddling was Sunday’s 23-20 defeat to a Jacksonville team that had lost 20 consecutive games.


Miami is one of only three teams — Cleveland and Seattle are the others — to lose two games after leading by at least 10 points this season. And the Dolphins have been outscored by 78 points this season, the second-worst differential in the league behind Houston’s minus-80.