4 key observations from Cam Newton’s return at the Cardinals in Week 10

(Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic via USA TODAY Network) Cam Newton
(Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic via USA TODAY Network) Cam Newton /
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Cam Newton
(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton /

Carolina Panthers kept it basic with Cam Newton

Considering that Cam Newton’s first practice was a walk-through on Friday, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see him inactive. But that is not in his character and it’s evident he wanted to make some sort of contribution right away.

In that sense, it was mission accomplished.

The Carolina Panthers clearly kept things pretty basic for Newton, who hasn’t had any time to grasp the playbook and get familiar with offensive coordinator Joe Brady’s scheme, which was flawless in Week 10 all things considered.

Newton made a huge impact when called upon. And his influence should only grow moving forward once he gets fully acclimatized to the way things work and from a starting position.

The Panthers kept his work to short-yardage and goal-line situations, which was the right call considering his preparation time and the fact he hadn’t played a competitive down all season. There was a nice run/pass option in the third quarter and Newton also got the chance to air one out to D.J. Moore, which was slightly underthrown.

In terms of Newton’s overall contribution, it was far better than anybody envisaged. A testament to how professional the player’s mindset is and how teammates rallied around their signal-caller whenever he was on the field.

It’s perhaps harsh to bench Walker after an encouraging performance. But the Panthers didn’t bring Newton back for him to sit on the sidelines.