It has been a wild journey following the timeline of Adam Schefter this morning, as one New England Patriot after another is dropping out of the NFL season. The list now stands as follows:
- Dont’a Hightower (LB)
- Danny Vitale (FB)
- Brandon Bolden (RB)
- Najee Toran (OG)
- Marcus Cannon (OT)
The most notable of these is Hightower, who was due to make $8 million this season but says he is dropping out because he and his wife just had a baby this month. Cannon is also a stalwart — he’s been a protector on the offensive line since 2011.
It remains to be seen how prevalent this will be across the NFL, but it is certainly worth monitoring. You can’t think it’s a coincidence that it came the day after it was revealed that a bunch of Miami Marlins tested positive for coronavirus.
This is all going to spell a further challenge for Bill Belichick and Cam Newton, both of whom have a lot to prove this season — Belichick is aiming to prove that he can continue to thrive without Tom Brady, while Newton must prove to the world that he is still a starting caliber quarterback. It’ll be interesting to watch play out.
UPDATE: Patrick Chung has dropped out too, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.