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Panthers reportedly expected to shut Cam Newton down for season

21 December 2018

The Panthers made the decision to shut down the 2015 league MVP for at least one game and possibly the remainder of the season due to a lingering right shoulder problem.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the Panthers are planning to sit Newton for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Rookie Kyle Allen is expected to be signed from the practice squad to serve as Heinicke's backup Sunday.

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The Panthers (6-8) aren't officially eliminated from the playoffs, but their hopes are highly slim, so the team brass - including Rivera and general manager Marty Hurney - decided shutting down Newton against the Falcons was best for the signal caller's shoulder.

Rivera has left the door open that Newton could play in the season finale at New Orleans if the playoffs are a possibility. "It's about managing pain and understanding that you have a job to do, a responsibility to put your best product out there on the field and I want to do that for not only myself, but for this team".

Added running back Christian McCaffrey: "I hate to see all the negative stuff going (Cam's) way, because if people really knew what he was going through, they'd bite their tongue a little bit". His streak of 11 straight games with multiple touchdown tosses was broken up in Week 14 in a loss to the hard-nosed Cleveland Browns, and Newton threw zero touchdowns with an interception in back-to-back games prior to this news.

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Heinicke has thrown four passes this season, including a couple of Hail Mary attempts that Newton couldn't attempt because his shoulder didn't allow him to propel a ball that far in the air.

Heinicke has attempted five National Football League passes, two of which were Hail Mary attempts he came on for this season because Newton couldn't.

Heinicke's background with offensive coordinator Norv Turner (in Minnesota) was the reason they held onto him this year. Newton came into the season with a career completion percentage of 58.5 in seven seasons.

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In 2018, he's appeared in five games for Carolina - completing 2-of-4 passes for 46 yards. He missed two games in 2014 when he was coming off offseason foot surgery.

Panthers reportedly expected to shut Cam Newton down for season