Carolina Panthers Cam Newton unprotected, exits with injury

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images Cam Newton
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images Cam Newton /

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton exits preseason game with a foot injury.

Prior to Thursday night, Carolina Panthers fans were only concerned about the throwing shoulder of quarterback Cam Newton. After offseason surgery, a second such procedure over a relatively short time frame, Newton made his much anticipated preseason debut against the New England Patriots. Hoping to see a return in arm strength after last season, when Newton was ultimately shut down after battling soreness throughout the second half, fans were instead immediately reminded about the Panthers other deficiencies.

General manager Marty Hurney has worked to surround Newton with viable weapons on offense but if he remains unprotected it won’t matter. Matt Paradis was signed to replace center Ryan Kalil and Daryl Williams returns after missing last season but the group as a whole is largely unproven. In their first action together with what is expected to be the first-team offense, the results left a lot to be desired.

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Newton dropped back to pass eight times, was sacked twice and had one throw away. He completed four passes for 30 yards but was under significant pressure before injuring his foot while taking a second sack. No official word has been released on the extent of his injury but Newton did exit Gillette Stadium in a walking boot.

The health of Newton has already been linked to how successful Carolina can be this season and despite average projections, adding another concern to his recent injury history is devastating. While the severity will soon be determined, it didn’t appear Newton was removed due to it being a preseason game. Adding a foot injury on top of already existent shoulder concerns significantly impacts the best parts of Newton’s game.

Expect coach Ron Rivera to be questioned about putting Newton in jeopardy during preseason play. Yes, hindsight is always 20/20 but for a veteran who has missed time in previous years and still played well once the games matter, electing to play Newton becomes an extremely questionable decision.

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No one should ever want to see anyone get injured, but knowing it could have been avoided and may now impact the regular season makes it even more difficult to swallow.