Patriots star Newton contracts virus, out for Chiefs game

New York (AFP) –

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New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss Sunday's game at defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, the NFL club announced Saturday.

Former Carolina Panthers ran-pass threat Newton replaced Tom Brady as the signal caller for the Patriots this season after Brady spent 20 years with New England, winning six Super Bowl titles.

"Late last night, we received notice that a Patriots player tested positive for COVID-19," the club said in a statement.

"The player immediately entered self-quarantine. Several additional players, coaches and staff who have been in close contact with the player received point of care tests this morning and all were negative for COVID-19.

"We are in close consultation with the NFL as well as our team of independent doctors and specialists and will follow their guidance regarding our scheduled trip to Kansas City and game against the Chiefs.

"The health and safety of our team, as well as our opponent, are of highest priority."

Newton, a 31-year-old from Atlanta and the NFL's 2015 Most Valuable Player, was placed on the Covid-19 reserve list.

In three games with the Patriots this season, he has completed 62-of-91 passes for 714 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions while rushing 35 times for 149 yards and four touchdowns.