The Carolina Panthers could be without their former NFL MVP for Week 1 of the regular season.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney revealed just how serious Cam Newton’s mid-foot sprain is in his left foot — he’s not even sure if he’ll even play in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams on Sep. 8. Hurney told Rapoport he’s “cautiously optimistic” that the veteran quarterback will play in the season opener.
After Cam Newton suffered a left foot injury against the New England Patriots in his first preseason action of the injury, the 30-year-old quarterback limped to the sidelines before he was attended to on the medical table. From there, he was escorted to the locker room before being seen walking out of the stadium in a walking boot.
The ninth-year quarterback suffered the injury while scrambling in the pocket on a passing play. He was sacked on what appeared to be a common tackle by the Patriots’ Adam Butler — but was immediately limping following the play.
You can see where Newton suffered his injury here.
Cam Newton Now Has Two Injuries to Worry About
After missing the Panthers’ first two preseason games, the University of Auburn product looked crisp in his first preseason action, completing 4-of-6 passes for 30 yards. The star quarterback had previously dealt with shoulder surgery in the offseason, which means now he not only has to deal with what was a serious upper-body injury — he now has to deal with a lower-body setback to boot.
Hurney had sounded a lot more optimistic initially following Newton’s injury on Thursday.
“We’re hoping it’s not too bad,” Panthers general manager Marty Hurney told the team radio network regarding Newton via ESPN. “We’ll find out more tomorrow. But I hope it’s not too bad.”
Kyle Allen Could Start Week 1 Against Rams
If Newton can’t suit up against the defending NFC champs — the Rams ranked second in the NFL in points per game at 32.9 points per game last season — Carolina will be forced to turn the starting quarterback job to second-year pro Kyle Allen, who has started just one game in his NFL career.
The 23-year-old Allen was undrafted out of the University of Houston in 2018 and spent the majority of the season on the practice squad. He was finally promoted to the active roster in Week 16 after Newton was shut down for the season. Allen actually looked solid in his lone NFL start, completing 20-of-31 passes for 266 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions while defeating the playoff-bound New Orleans Saints, 33-14, in the final week of the season.
Behind Allen on the depth chart are even more unproven backups in rookie Will Grier and Taylor Heinicke — the guy Allen replaced at the end of the season as the starting quarterback.
We don’t know exactly how long Newton’s injury will sideline him for, but we do know there’s a good chance he will miss Week 1 against the defending NFC champions.
That is not good news for Panthers nation.
We’ll keep you updated regarding the severity of Newton’s mid-foot sprain moving forward.
Follow D.J. Siddiqi on Twitter @DJSiddiqi