Panthers say Cam Newton won’t play in Week 4

Carolina Panthers

For the second week in a row, Cam Newton will be out for the Carolina Panthers. He will be replaced by Kyle Allen when Carolina faces the Houston Texans.

Though the Carolina Panthers are coming off their first win of the season on Sunday by handling the Arizona Cardinals on the road in Week 3 38-20, the Panthers will be without their starting quarterback Cam Newton for another week.

According to Jordan Rodrigue of The Athletic, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera has ruled Newton out for the game with no timetable for him to return. Look for Kyle Allen to get the start again for the Panthers when they take on the Houston Texans on the road in Week 4.

Though Allen played very well in place of Newton, as he completed 19 of 26 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns, Arizona isn’t on Houston’s level of competitiveness. The Texans are 2-1 on the year after beating the Los Angeles Chargers on the road in Carson in Week 3. Houston is a Wil Lutz field goal away from being 3-0, as they fell to the New Orleans Saints in the Week 1 opener.

This will be a big spot for Allen, who played his college ball both at the University of Houston and Texas A&M University before that. He might have what it takes to keep pace with Deshaun Watson and the Texans offense in his Texas homecoming. That being said, we can’t feel good about the Panthers long-term the longer Newton is sidelined with this nagging foot injury of his.

With that win on the road in Glendale last week, Carolina is only a game back of the Saints for first place in the NFC South. Given that the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also 1-2 on the year and only a game back of the Saints, this division is still very much up for grabs. Expect the NFC South to be competitive, albeit not that good this year.

Overall, this is a critical year for the Panthers. Should the team fail to reach the NFC playoffs again, it might lead to new owner David Tepper making some serious moves to his organization. That could mean firing Rivera and general manager, Marty Hurney.

If Newton is unable to play well this season, regardless of how he’s feeling physically, maybe Carolina begins its search for a new franchise quarterback? Allen has played well in his two starts dating back to last season. The Panthers also drafted Charlotte native Will Grier out of West Virginia this past spring, so maybe he’ll get an opportunity at some point if Allen struggles.

All we know now is that Newton will miss half of the first quarter of the 2019 NFL season. Carolina needed him to play at a Pro Bowl level to get back to the postseason. Now, it doesn’t look like that will happen. Look for Allen to try to keep this team afloat for the time being while Newton tries to work his way back from injury.

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