Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has re-aggravated his left foot sprain, raising questions about his availability for the weekend game at Arizona and threatening to derail his team’s entire season.
Newton was hurt during the team’s third preseason game against the New England Patriots. He re-aggravated the injury during the team’s loss to Tampa on Thursday night, and the quarterback missed practice on Tuesday as a result.
“He’s just in the training room rehabbing,” general manager Marty Hurney said Tuesday.
Hurney said Newton told the team after Thursday’s game that he knew he had re-aggravated the foot. Hurney did not elaborate when asked if Newton’s status for this Sunday against Arizona was in jeopardy.
“I don’t know,” Hurney said. “We’ll just take it day-by-day.”
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Newton initially sprained his left foot in the first quarter of Carolina’s third preseason game. He exited the game immediately and left the stadium in a pressurized boot. He then missed several days of practice leading up to Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.
Newton has not showed up on a single injury report during the 2019 regular season. Coach Ron Rivera said after Thursday’s loss: “Don’t worry about the foot.” So far this season, Newton has rushed five times for -3 yards, including just two attempts on Thursday.
If Newton were to miss time, second-year player Kyle Allen is the Panthers’ No. 2 quarterback. Third-round rookie Will Grier, a Charlotte native, is the team’s third option.
“Obviously Kyle and Will are out there today,” Hurney said. “We’ll see how it goes.”
Newton, whose 4,806 career rushing yards are the most by any quarterback since 2011, also has been a nonfactor in the running game. He had two carries for no yards against Tampa Bay after having three carries for a career-worst minus-2 yards in the opener.
Should Allen start, it would be the second of his career. He started last year’s finale after Newton was shut down for the final two games to deal with a sore shoulder that ultimately needed arthroscopic surgery. Allen, undrafted out of Houston in 2018, completed 20 of 31 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions in a win at New Orleans.
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