The Carolina Panthers will hold out quarterback Cam Newton from their final two games due to his ailing right shoulder, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.
Dec 17, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) carries the ball in the second quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Newton has been dealing with soreness for close to two months while Carolina’s season has unraveled with six straight defeats.
The Panthers (6-8) aren’t officially eliminated from the playoffs but their hopes are highly slim so the team apparently decided shutting down Newton was best for the signal caller’s shoulder.
Carolina announced that Taylor Heinicke will be the starting quarterback on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
Newton was largely ineffective in Monday night’s 12-9 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
He was 16-of-29 passing for 131 yards and was intercepted once. His long completion was 22 yards.
The 29-year-old Newton expressed frustration after the loss.
“I wish I could say what the injury is because I don’t really know what it is either,” Newton told reporters. “No matter how much you push, no matter how much you ice, the anti-inflammatory you take. Trust me, I’ve done it. Acupuncture, massages. There’s not a night that goes by without me getting some type of work done on my arm.
“You just don’t have the strength. From the range of motion, you work on the range of motion then come game time and you never know how the game can play out. Of course you try to stay under 25-30 throws, but if you surpass that or you get hit on it or you have to run or you get tackled and fall on your shoulder, certain things happen. That’s the game of football.”
Newton previously underwent surgery on the shoulder in March 2017.
The 25-year-old Heinicke has completed 2 of 4 passes for 46 yards this season. He also completed one pass for the Houston Texans last season.
Heinicke threw for 132 touchdown passes in college at Old Dominion but went undrafted in 2015.
Rookie Kyle Allen (Texas A&M) is expected to be promoted from the practice squad to be the backup.
The Panthers also placed kicker Graham Gano (knee) on injured reserve and signed tight end Jason Vander Laan from the practice squad. Chandler Catanzaro filled in for Gano the past two games and is slated to finish the season with the club.
—Field Level Media