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Mac Jones’ odds to start Week 1 for the Patriots improving with Cam Newton absence

Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones could be starting under center when the team opens up the regular season against the Miami Dolphins.

Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots looks to pass the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 19, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Patriots defeated the Eagles 35-0. Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Throughout the first two weeks of the 2021 NFL preseason and training camp, Cam Newton and rookie Mac Jones have looked solid as the two compete to be the New England Patriots starting quarterback this season.

Newton entered training camp as the incumbent with it being his second season in New England with head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. However, Jones was drafted in the first round in the 2021 NFL Draft to replace Newton whenever that may be.

On Tuesday, Mike Giardi of the NFL Network reported that there is a level of frustration within the Patriots’ organization regarding Cam Newton, who cannot be at the team’s practice facility for five days due to a misunderstanding about COVID-19 testing.

Giardi added that one important member from the Patriots believes Newton’s unexpected absence has “opened” a window for the rookie quarterback. DraftKings Sportsbook also feels the same way as Jones’ odds to take the first snap for the Patriots is at +225 odds.

Newton isn’t scheduled to return to the Pats’ facility until August 26, which gives Jones some more practice reps over the next two days. The Patriots will hold a joint practice on Wednesday against New York Giants, who they will play in their final preseason game.

Should Newton lose the starting quarterback job based off this instance alone? No, not in the least as he’s performed well in the preseason. But the best ability is availability and as of right now that is in Jones’ favor.