Cam Newton Spotted Working out at Panthers Practice

Monday afternoon, Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera announced that backup quarterback Kyle Allen would start his fifth straight game in place of the injured Cam Newton. The former first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft has been dealing with a foot injury that he aggravated in week two, but he is nearing a return to action. In fact, the Panthers even released footage of Newton working on the field Tuesday.

As the video showed, Newton was seen doing individual drills that tested his ability to move side-to-side. He also took part in a ladder drill and worked on stationary throwing. Head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion was on hand to ensure that Newton didn't suffer any setbacks.

"He's been doing all the drills that RV has set up for him," Rivera said on Tuesday. "You guys saw probably the most extensive drills we've had with him here. For the most part, that's what he's working on."

While the video was brief, it certainly did provide hope for Panthers fans that Newton will soon be returning to the field. The team would be hesitant to show their injured quarterback doing anything unless it could be viewed as progress. Having Newton smiling and going through drills on the practice field certainly qualifies.

Newton won't face off with the San Francisco 49ers due to being declared out, but he could potentially line up under center in week nine. If so, his return would take place against the Tennessee Titans, who recently underwent a quarterback change of their own when they benched former first-round draft pick Marcus Mariota and gave trade acquisition Ryan Tannehill the nod.

With a 4-2 record, the Panthers are still in contention for a spot in the postseason. The New Orleans Saints are currently running away with the NFC South due to their 6-1 record but defeating the 49ers and Titans in back-to-back weeks would keep Carolina in the running in case their rival were to slip up.

Obviously, defeating the undefeated 49ers will be easier said than done considering that this defense has piled up 20 sacks while only allowing a combined 75 first downs over the first six games. Allen should have a far more difficult time finding success, but if he can, he will set Newton up for a late-season run to reach the playoffs and potentially contend for the division title.

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Granted, Newton will first have to avoid any setbacks in his recovery.

(Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty)