Panthers Reporter: Cam Newton Is Hurt

If the Panthers had been eliminated from playoff contention, Newton likely wouldn't be playing

Ferrall On The Bench
December 11, 2018 - 9:35 am

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On Sunday, Nov. 4, the Carolina Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 42-28. They moved to 6-2 with the win – their third straight – and things were looking good.

Carolina hasn't won since.

“From that point on, the Panthers have just not been themselves,” The Athletic Panthers writer Joe Person said on Ferrall on the Bench. “They haven’t won since that night. Five in a row. They've gone from 6-2 to 6-7. What once looked like a promising season – and now we’re asking questions about Ron Rivera and Marty Hurney’s futures.”

The Panthers have lost to the Steelers, Lions, Seahawks, Bucs, and Browns. Four of the five losses came on the road.

And Cam Newton doesn’t look right. Is he injured? 

“Yes, no question about it,” Person said. “If you watch this team at all, he’s got to tap out and have the backup quarterback come in and throw the Hail Mary each of the last two weeks. It’s not just that. Norv Turner has had to shrink the playbook and shrink the field to have passes that Cam can complete. A lot of them are underneath check-downs to Christian McCaffrey, which, by the way, is not a bad play. But it’s kind of sad to see. That was such a strength of his game – the deep passes, the huge arm – and now he can’t get it 50 yards downfield with a Hail Mary. He’s not right.”

The Panthers have a tough end-of-season slate. They play the Saints (11-2), the Falcons (4-9), and the Saints again. Yet, they’re just a half game behind Minnesota (6-6-1) for the final playoff spot.

“If this team were already eliminated, I think Ron Rivera would strongly consider sitting him down,” Person said. “But because the rest of these teams in the NFC – at least for that last Wild Card spot – are just kind of kicking it around, I think Rivera is going to keep running Cam out there.”