With the Carolina Panthers preparing to host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon, the focus in Charlotte is on quarterback Kyle Allen and how he will rebound from a loss to the San Francisco 49ers. However, there is another issue that is making headlines. Sunday morning, it was revealed that starter Cam Newton is in danger of missing several more weeks due to a foot injury. He could also land on Injured Reserve.
According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the former first overall pick from 2011 is taking the weekend to evaluate his future. He recently made a trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin to meet with foot expert Dr. Robert Anderson. Surgery was not recommended, according to Rapoport's sources. Instead, rest is viewed as the best avenue for Newton's recovery.
However, that brings about the issue of timing. If Newton does indeed miss several more weeks, he may not be eligible to return until December. At this point, the Panthers could decide that it's not worth any further risk to bring Newton back with only three or four games remaining in the season.
From @NFLGameDay Kickoff: #Panthers QB Cam Newton is weighing his options this weekend and Injured Reserve is on the table for him... Plus, the #Chiefs aren't expected to have QB Patrick Mahomes for today's game. pic.twitter.com/FbkRLtPcUS— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 3, 2019
Newton originally aggravated the foot injury during Week 2, and he has been out the lineup ever since. He recently began working on his own during practice but has been limited to stationary throwing and some individual drills.
"He's going up and probably seeing one of the best foot doctors," head coach Ron Rivera said on Friday, "and whatever we get from the doctor, I think will probably really impact the decisions going forward."
A decision from Newton is expected on Monday. Being placed on Injured Reserve is still on the table, but the team and Newton will make a joint decision to determine what is best for the former league MVP.
If the Panthers do indeed place Newton on Injured Reserve, the questions will continue to swirl about his future with the team. Kyle Allen has been reliable overall for the team while leading them to a 4-1 record and throwing for nine touchdowns. Newton clearly has the higher ceiling at this point in his career, but he also only has one year left on his contract.
The Panthers could potentially clear up cap space at the end of the season by trading Newton, provided they believe that Allen is the future for the team, or they could simply let him play out the final season and try to earn another big contract.
At this point in the 2019 season, everything is literally on the table for Newton and the Panthers. He could make a return to the field in late November or December, he could be placed on Injured Reserve, and he could ultimately land on a different team for the first time in his career.
There is no clarity at this point, but Newton and the Panthers will provide some semblance of an answer on Monday.
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