Patriots

Morning sports update: Bill Belichick explained why he’s sticking with Cam Newton as Patriots starting quarterback

Belichick was also asked if he thinks Newton has been dealing with lingering effects of COVID-19.

Belichick Newton Patriots starter
Bill Belichick and Cam Newton on the sidelines earlier in the 2020 season. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Tonight, the Dodgers have a chance to win the World Series, as Los Angeles leads the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2. First pitch is set for 8:08 p.m.

And another full slate of UEFA Champions League games are set to kick off starting this afternoon at 1:55 p.m.

Bill Belichick on Cam Newton: Amid Sunday’s 33-6 defeat to the 49ers — the worst home loss of his 21-year Patriots tenure — Bill Belichick decided to bench Cam Newton.

Newton explained that he understood why during a Monday interview, but given the former MVP’s struggles in consecutive games, questions persisted over if he would remain New England’s top choice at the position.

In the aftermath of the loss, Belichick said that Newton would “absolutely” remain the Patriots’ starting quarterback.

During a weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni, & Fauria,” Belichick expanded on his answer.

“I think he’s our best player there, so again there are other problems offensively,” Belichick said of Newton and the Patriots’ offense. “There are things we need to do better and that is what we’re going to work on. I think we have our best players out there. We just have to find a way to be more productive. We have been at times, but we certainly weren’t yesterday, and we need to see if we can improve that.”

Another possibility that’s been considered is that Newton, who tested positive for COVID-19 but reportedly remained asymptomatic, might nonetheless be dealing with the virus’ lasting impact.

“No, I don’t think so,” Belichick noted in a Tuesday press conference. “I mean we would list that on the injury report if there was. I don’t think he’s had any symptoms the whole way.”

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New England faces Buffalo in a pivotal AFC East matchup on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Bills currently lead the division at 5-2 while the Patriots are in third at 2-4.

Trivia: Shortstop Edgar Renteria accounted for the final at bat in multiple World Series. One, as Red Sox fans remember, came in 2004 when Renteria was on the losing side with the Cardinals. When was the other time?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Craig Counsell scored the winning run.

More from Boston.com:

On the hot seat: Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who has been under pressure all season given Dallas’ historic inability to stop opponents, was also unable to prevent tabasco sauce from getting in his eye during a conference call with reporters on Monday.

The latest on Antonio Brown:

On this day: In 2004, the moment — 86 years in the making — arrived for Red Sox. Edgar Renteria’s grounder was fielded by closer Keith Foulke, who flipped the ball to first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz for the final out.

“Red Sox fans have longed to hear it,” went Joe Buck’s understated call before announcing that, finally, Boston once again had a championship baseball team.

Daily highlight: Harry Kane’s initial header was acrobatically redirected into goal by Heung-min Son on Monday to give Tottenham what proved a decisive lead in a 1-0 win over Burnley on Monday.

Trivia answer: 1997 Marlins

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