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It’s time for Panthers to shut down Cam Newton for season

It’s time for Panthers to shut down Cam Newton for season

Dec 19, 2018David NewtonESPN Staff Writer CloseCovered Panthers, NFL for 11 years More than 25 years experience covering NFL, college football and NASCAR Joined ESPN in 2006CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's not just time to sit Cam Newton for the rest of the season. It's time for the Carolina Panthers to consider a potential long-term replacement…
Dec 19, 2018

  • David NewtonESPN Physique of workers Creator

    Shut

    • Lined Panthers, NFL for Eleven years
    • Greater than 25 years skills defending NFL, college soccer and NASCAR
    • Joined ESPN in 2006

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s now now not always ethical time to take a seat down Cam Newton for the rest of the season. It’s time for the Carolina Panthers to engage into consideration a doable long-time-frame replacement for their franchise quarterback in free agency or the NFL draft.

The uncertainty surrounding lingering concerns with Newton’s appropriate shoulder raises many questions that stretch beyond Carolina’s six-recreation shedding whisk and 1 p.c likelihood of making the playoffs. If the 2015 NFL MVP desires to possess a second shoulder surgical treatment in now now not up to two years, what are the long-time-frame implications? Would he miss a entire season, as Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Just appropriate fortune did in 2017 after having a linked surgical treatment?

And if surgical treatment is now not always if truth be told the acknowledge, would resting Newton for the subsequent two games and the full offseason guarantee this relate received’t reappear in 2019?

Keep in mind, Newton talked about prior to this season that he felt better than he had in years. Then, after he threw 22 passes in the fourth quarter of a attain-from-in the again of absorb Philadelphia in Week 6, the Panthers started limiting his throwing in apply to, for primarily the most section, sometime a week.

Newton played neatly the subsequent two weeks to again Carolina strengthen to six-2. Even after the team fell to six-5, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner boasted he used to be playing the finest soccer of his career. Then he threw four interceptions the subsequent recreation in Tampa Bay.

Newton has now thrown on the least one interception in six straight games after throwing one in finest three of the first eight.

Newton’s arm strength has been this type of controversy that backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke has attain in for a Hail Mary pass three times.

The frustration by no manner used to be more magnified than after Monday night time’s 12-9 loss to the New Orleans Saints, in which Newton got right here up brief on brief passes. The 29-year-venerable quarterback used to be almost begging for answers as to why he continues to possess soreness and stiffness in the shoulder, for why every part from acupuncture to massages hasn’t helped.

He had none.

“You may perchance well presumably now now not rub magic mud on it, lumber to this or that particular person, possess the placebo things done the put you judge certain things are what they’re — and you attain out and you may perchance well presumably presumably even be aloof the identical,” Newton talked about. “Over the last couple of weeks, nothing has if truth be told changed.”

One thing has. The Panthers (6-8) are for all functional choices out of the playoff describe, and they’re centered on subsequent season with two games final against Atlanta and New Orleans.

That locations the onus on coach Ron Rivera and the medical workers. As of Tuesday, Rivera wasn’t prepared to make your mind up to sitting Newton the last two games on yarn of the Panthers possess a “slim glimmer” of hope of making the playoffs.

That “slim glimmer,” in step with ESPN Stats & Knowledge, is now now not up to 1 p.c.

“I will be succesful to’t impart you what I’ll divulge unless I get an opportunity to know the put he’s by manner of his bodily recount and mental recount,” Rivera talked about Tuesday of his notion for Newton. “It’s miles a annoying anxiety appropriate now. Except I get an opportunity to focus on with with him, I’m now now not going to take a position.”

It’s miles a annoying anxiety in many suggestions. Newton desires to play and there used to be no indication that playing would fabricate the shoulder worse. Rivera desires to take, and the subsequent two games may perchance well play a goal in whether proprietor David Tepper keeps the head coach on workers for a ninth season. An eight-recreation shedding whisk after a 6-2 start wouldn’t be factual for Rivera’s résumé. Since the NFL transitioned to a 16-recreation agenda in 1978, no team has long previous from 6-2 to six-10.

Rivera did now not exactly sound relish a coach who has been given a vote of self belief on Tuesday.

“Completely, on yarn of I fabricate now now not know,” Rivera talked about when asked how noteworthy he hates being asked about his future. “I have been through it as soon as or twice my first two seasons [6-10, 7-9]. However on the discontinue of the day, it comes all the manner down to one particular person, and that’s the reason the supreme particular person who knows.”

If Rivera returns, he’ll desire a wholesome Newton to succeed. If Newton is now not always if truth be told wholesome, Rivera will desire a wholesome possibility.

The team may perchance well get its subsequent quarterback through free agency. Philadelphia’s Gash Foles and New Orleans’ Teddy Bridgewater are alternate choices the Panthers may perchance well target in the event that they desire a quarterback who can take straight. Whether either would are looking out to join a anxiety the put they potentially may perchance well remain a backup is a colossal save a question to.

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Cam Newton describes his frustrations on things now now not falling the Panthers’ manner and reiterates that he desires to be better.

The draft is additionally an possibility. The Panthers have not drafted one other quarterback since making Newton the No. 1 receive in 2011. Scouts fabricate now now not engage into consideration the incoming quarterback class particularly real, so Carolina would likely pursue a project in the center rounds.

The Panthers were procuring for a doable long-time-frame replacement for Newton out of doors of the draft since Marty Hurney returned because the general manager earlier than the 2017 season.

They’ve brought in numerous candidates in free agency (relish Garrett Gilbert and Joe Webb) who’ve not panned out. They moved on from used Derek Anderson as Newton’s backup this season and went with Heinicke on yarn of of his outdated skills in offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s machine at Minnesota.

However the Panthers fabricate now now not if truth be told know what they possess in Heinicke, who hasn’t started an NFL recreation and has thrown finest five passes in two seasons. The subsequent two games provide an opportunity to sight if Heinicke on the total is a sound starter who can take games. If he can’t, that makes the team’s offseason quarterback resolution even more essential.

At this point, Rivera is now not always if truth be told prepared to make your mind up to playing Heinicke unless somebody from the medical workers says he desires to shut Newton down. He did now not sound relish a coach prepared to give Newton a clipboard on Tuesday.

“We’ll get an opportunity to focus on with and discuss,” he talked about of assembly with Newton and his medical team later in the day. “I’ll get an opportunity to sight the put he’s mentally. Optimistically, he’ll be ready to get previous this one and we will lumber from there.”