Head Coach Ron Rivera made the announcement on Monday, confirming to reporters that Cam Newton is still not healthy enough to practice. Allen will be under center for the Panthers when they return from their week 7 bye to face the San Francisco 49ers.
Allen continued to shine across the pond, completing 20-of-32 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns as Carolina defeated Tampa Bay 37-26. After the win, Allen’s fourth straight as a starter, Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera sidestepped aside the question about a growing quarterback controversy, taking a wait-and-see approach.
In four starts this season, all victories, Allen has yet to throw an interception. The Panthers have now won four games in a row since Newton went down with injury and have propelled themselves back into the NFC playoff picture. A healthy Newton still likely gives Carolina the best chance to win, but there is no telling when or if Cam will be back to 100%.
During the Panthers’ bye week after their victory in London, head coach Ron Rivera continued to express uncertainty about when Newton would return to the practice field.
Uncertainty Swirling Around Newton’s Return
Newton struggled mightily in the first two weeks of the season, both Panthers losses. Allen came on in relief in Week 3 and lifted Carolina to their first win of the season in an impressive road performance over the Arizona Cardinals.
In that game against Arizona, Allen completed 19-of-26 passes for 261 yards with four touchdowns in a 38-20 victory. Since then, Allen has continued to shine, winning all three of his starts while not throwing an interception.
Allen was signed by Carolina as an undrafted free agent in 2018 out of Texas A&M. He appeared in two games last season and started the Panthers’ Week 17 game at New Orleans, a 33-14 Panthers win. That game was Allen’s first career victory as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
“Teammates have been impressed with how level-headed Allen has been,” Rapoport reported. “He’s exceeded expectations by a lot.”
If the team keeps winning, Carolina will have a difficult decision on their hands when Newton does return to practice from a sprained foot.
Cam Newton Continues to be Plagued by Injuries
This most recent foot sprain is an addendum to an already long list of injuries for the 30-year-old veteran quarterback. In the last three seasons, Newton has also sustained severe damage to his throwing shoulder and rotator cuff, a grade 1 knee strain and a concussion.
This most recent injury was sustained in a Thursday night Week 2 loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Newton has not practiced since the injury. The Panthers have a Week 7 bye after their trip to London, and it is unsure when Newton will officially return to the practice field.
Prior to his injury, Newton looked sluggish this season, posting an 0-2 record and completing just 49 percent of his passes with a 70.1 quarterback rating. Newton failed to throw a touchdown pass in his only two games this season. His completion percentage and yards per attempt. His play, along with his health has continued to decline over the past couple of years and now the team might be faced with a tipping point as to the future starting status of the former MVP.