Cam Newton posted a comment on the Carolina Panthers' Instagram account Tuesday to talk about being placed on injured reserve, and his comment hinted at a potential departure. Since he took over for Newton in the third week of the season, the Panthers have won five games and lost one.
"For the past seven weeks, Cam has diligently followed a program of rest and rehab and still is experiencing pain in his foot", general manager Marty Hurney said in a press release.
Second-year backup Kyle Allen has started the last six games in Newton's place, compiling a 5-1 record during that span, including Sunday's 30-20 win over the Tennessee Titans. In 2020 Newton is in the final year of his contract and has a salary cap hit of $21.1 million.
However, a shoulder injury meant he missed the last two weeks of the 2018 season, and despite starting Carolina's first two games this year, he was clearly hampered by a foot injury sustained in preseason.
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Newton's latest evaluation with a foot specialist revealed that he needs rest, not surgery, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
"Nobody is more frustrated with that fact than Cam", said Hurney.
Newton completed 50 of 89 pass attempts this season for 572 yards in the two season-opening losses for Carolina. Newton had rotator cuff surgery on his throwing shoulder in 2017, suffered a knee strain with ligament and cartilage damage and another shoulder surgery on the same throwing arm just past year. If Allen continues playing well, it could be hard for the Panthers to overlook $19.1 million in potential salary cap savings if they trade him next year.