It was looking likely, but now it’s all but official the Carolina Panthers will be starting Kyle Allen in place of an injured Cam Newton on Sunday.
Cam Newton has clearly not been himself over the first two games this season, as his production as a runner has quite literally disappeared. After aggravating a preseason foot injury in Week 2, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has reported it’s “trending toward” Kyle Allen starting in place of Newton for the Carolina Panthers Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
Rapoport further reported that Newton is still in a walking boot, and he needed to practice on Wednesday to start on Sunday. That obviously didn’t happen, hence the further trend toward Newton not suiting up against the Cardinals.
Allen signed with Carolina as an undrafted free agent last year, and after Newton was shut down with a shoulder issue he appeared in two games at the end of his rookie season. He started in Week 17 against the New Orleans Saints, and went 16-for-27 for 228 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions (8.4 yards per attempt), while adding five rushes for 19 yards and another score in a 33-14 win for the Panthers.
Carolina has lost their first two games this season by a combined nine points, so Allen will be charged with helping them avoid an even further dreaded 0-3 start. He is getting a soft landing though, against a Cardinals’ pass defense that sits 27th in the league (309.5 yards per game) and has yet to intercept a pass in two games.
Despite head coach Ron Rivera’s curt denial his foot was an issue after last Thursday night’s game, it’s clear Newton has been operating at less than full strength. So he’ll likely get a much-needed week off, and with the extent of his foot injury unclear a multi-game absence can’t be ruled out.