Injured QB Cam Newton Traveling With Panthers to San Francisco

The Carolina Panthers are heading to the Bay Area for a battle with the San Francisco 49ers, and they will be joined by a former MVP in Cam Newton. The starting quarterback in Charlotte, who hasn't played since week two, will be traveling with his teammates for this week's battle with the 49ers, per head coach Ron Rivera. Although he has already been declared out.

This is a fairly sizable development considering that Newton has been inactive while backup Kyle Allen has carried the load for his team. The youngster in Allen has gone 4-0 in his starts while keeping the Panthers in the middle of the conversation throughout Newton's absence.

There was a belief exiting the bye week that the former first overall pick could potentially make a return to the starting lineup against the 49ers, but Rivera put this discussion to rest when he declared Newton out for the upcoming game.

That being said, there is no denying that Newton is nearing a return. He returned to the practice field this week, and while he did not work with his teammates, he did take part in individual work on the sidelines. Newton was spotted working on stationary throwing while also taking part in ladder drills.

"Cam is going to continue his rehab," Rivera said during his Monday press conference. "As I told you guys last week, we're not putting any pressure on Cam. He's done a great job doing the things that we've asked of him. He's gone above and beyond in terms of working with our quarterbacks and helping them along the way. He's just going to continue to do his program."

The ultimate goal, which was expressed by both Rivera and some of Newton's teammates, is to get the 2015 NFL MVP back in full health and ready to lead this team toward the playoffs. They don't want Newton to be at any risk of further injuries and instead want him at his full power in the back half of the season.

There were some initial doubts about his recovery timeline, especially after CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora wrote that Newton could miss some additional games, but having the quarterback travel with his team to San Francisco makes it appear that he is much closer to a return than previously expected.

0comments

Ultimately, how Allen performs against the undefeated 49ers could play a role in whether Newton is back next week or the one after. Either way, the Panthers are anticipating his return and the potential for racing to the playoffs.

Photo Credit: Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images