After his team’s 18-12 loss to the Denver Broncos, Bill Belichick indicated that missing practice time was an issue for the Patriots. Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots played their worst game of the season on Sunday, and it hardly seems like a coincidence that it came after they lost practice time due to positive coronavirus tests. While he has never been one to make excuses, Bill Belichick clearly feels the situation negatively impacted his team.

After his team’s 18-12 loss to the Denver Broncos, Belichick indicated that missing practice time was an issue for the Patriots.

Those responses were long-winded by Belichick’s standards, but he had a more typical response when asked directly about not having as much time as usual to practice.

The uncertain schedule for the Patriots began two weeks ago when Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19. They have since had to open and close their facility after a few more positive tests. Newton missed a significant amount of practice time while he was waiting for clearance, and it showed on Sunday. He completed 17-of-25 passes for 157 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. The former NFL MVP had a chance to lead the Patriots to a comeback win late in the game, but he looked uncomfortable dropping back all day.

New England is now 2-3 after the surprising loss, which snapped an incredible streak. If the Patriots miss the playoffs, the loss to the Broncos is one they will surely regret.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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