Cam Newton left near the end of the first quarter of Carolina’s third preseason game Thursday night against the Patriots. He was seen limping to the locker room, and The Athletic’s Joe Person confirms that a foot injury has ended the night for the Panthers quarterback.
Newton has seen a slew of injuries the last few seasons. He underwent an “arthroscopic procedure” on his right shoulder this January, as well as one on a torn rotator cuff in the same shoulder in March 2017.
Prior to leaving, Newton completed 4-of-6 passes for 30 yards in his preseason debut after sitting the first two against the Bears and Bills. He was also sacked twice, including on the failed scramble attempt that saw him get injured right near the end of the quarter.
Here’s the video of the injury.
According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Rivera and the Panthers have been cautious about forcing Newton back to the field.
Newton has gotten a day off from throwing in practice every three days. But he has demonstrated good arm strength over the past month and threw in both joint practices with the Bills, which resembled game conditions in every way except full-scale tackling.
Head coach Ron Rivera expected to only use him for three to four possessions on Thursday.
“A lot of it will be about the flow of the game more than anything else,” coach Ron Rivera said to the Charlotte Observer. “Ideally, you’d like to have several — three or four — really good possessions and then you’d go from there and make your assessment.”
Newton has thrown for at least 3,000 yards in each of his eight seasons in Carolina. Despite missing the final two games of last year, he threw for 3,395 yards (completing over 67 percent of his passes) for 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
The Panthers missed out on the playoffs with a 7-9 record, including a 7-game losing streak from November through most of December. This injury puts a scare into a bounceback season.
Who Will Play in Newton’s Place?
Kyle Allen is the backup on the depth chart. The second-year youngster out of Texas A&M tossed for 266 yards, two touchdowns and no picks last season in a reserve role.
Allen has struggled in the preseason. His last appearance was a 4-for-11 outing for just 32 yards against the Bills in a 27-14 loss. He fared better in the opener against the Bears, going 7-of-11 for 76 yards.
He is getting pushed by third-round pick Will Grier. The rookie out of West Virginia has thrown the only touchdown of the preseason, so far, and has totaled 152 yards. The 24-year-old has also tossed two picks in the process, dampening the early enthusiasm.
If Newton’s injury is just a foot sprain, he should be ready by Week One. Sprains typically heal within two to four weeks, meaning that his could be a moot point. He walked off the field under his own power, which suggests that the injury is better than any sort of bone break or ankle ligament tear.
Stay tuned for further developments on Newton’s injury status.