Monday night, the Carolina Panthers loss again to fall to 6-8 on the season. But that wasn’t just any loss. Their loss to the Saints made it six straight after an excellent 6-2 start. Now the Panthers have made the decision to shut down Cam Newton for the rest of the season. Sunday, GM Marty Hurney told the team website that they’re sitting him Sunday against the Falcons.
Additionally, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport won’t play in Week 17 against the Saints. Perhaps the Packers could take note and do the same with Aaron Rodgers.
Sources: #Panthers are expected to sit Cam Newton (shoulder) now that they are out of the playoff race and Taylor Heinicke is believed to be starting Sunday vs. the #Falcons. A move that makes a lot of sense. … Cam is not practicing today.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 19, 2018
The decision is for two different reasons. Obviously the Panthers are out of playoff contention. Their season is over. Therefore, there’s no reason for Newton to play the rest of the way. But he’s also been dealing with shoulder soreness since Week 8.
“It hasn’t gotten worse over the weeks,” Newton told reporters on Monday. “It hasn’t gotten better over the weeks.”
The Panthers will monitor Newton’s health over the final two weeks heading into the offseason. Though as of right now they believe his shoulder won’t require surgery “at this time,” sources told ESPN’s Dan Graziano. That’s very good news. And it makes their decision to rest him even more sensible. Just focus on getting their MVP healthy and ready for next season.
Source on Cam Newton says his shoulder does not need surgery “at this time.” Obviously that doesn’t rule out the possibility down the road, but for now the plan is to rest it and continue to evaluate. Cam expected to miss the final two games of the season, as @RapSheet said.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) December 19, 2018
Taylor Heinicke will take over as the starter on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. During the preseason, he played well — throwing for 323 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in four games.
As for Newton, he’d been putting together a pretty fine season. He’s completing 67.9 percent of his passes, which is by far a career-high. It’s up eight ticks from his career average. Both his passer rating and QBR marks are up from last season as well. But he needs to get healthy.
Let’s hope Newton does just that this offseason.