Cam Newton further explains how he struggled coming back from COVID-19

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At a few points during the 2020 season, Cam Newton pointed out how the missed time due to COVID-19 impacted his play.

Newton missed the Week 4 game against Kansas City and then the Patriots had Week 5 against Denver pushed back a week, but the quarterback wasn't able to practice much during that time.

“I was one of the first football players to catch it, and it happened so fast,” the quarterback said during an appearance on the “I Am Athlete” podcast with Brandon Marshall. “When I came back, that’s where the lack of an offseason and the lack of time in the system really showed itself. I was behind and I was thinking too much.

“The offense kept going and I was stagnant for two weeks. It was all new terminology. I wasn’t just trying to learn a system for what it was, I was learning a 20-year system in two months.”

Newton finished the season with eight passing touchdowns and 12 rushing touchdowns to go along with 10 interceptions. His 20 total touchdowns ranked 21st in the league, while the Patriots had the 27th ranked offense overall.

“They threw everything at me, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way,” Newton said. “At the end of the day, you have to go through things in that type of manner, to show yourself that you can’t skip processes. I’d be the first person to tell you that I needed time.”

The 31-year-old is a free agent once again, but has no plans on retiring.

“I can’t go out like that. I hear all of that talk. My pride won’t allow me to do it," he said. "There aren’t 32 guys better than me."