Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s season may be over.
A new report from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Sunday said that the Panthers are considering placing the quarterback on season-ending injured reserve as his foot injury has been slow to heal and his rehab has become stalled. The report noted that Newton made a visit to foot and ankle expert Dr. Robert Anderson this weekend, who did not recommend surgery and instead hoped that more rest could help the quarterbacks’s Lisfranc injury heal.
As Rapoport noted, the time it takes for the injury to fully heal may mean that Newton doesn’t play again this season.
“That brings Newton to his decision, one that he’s weighing after returning home from seeing Anderson, the former assistant team physician,” the report noted. “Being placed on Injured Reserve is on the table for Newton, sources say.”
“The reason is simply the timing. If he’s out more than a month and heals perfectly during that time, is a December return to the field realistic? Maybe not.”
As Al.com reported, Newton has been slow to recover from the injury he suffered in a preseason game on August 22. The injury was originally diagnosed as a mid-foot sprain, but Newton played through the pain and was under center for the team’s first two regular season games. When he finally went to the sidelines for good, team doctors diagnosed it as a more serious ailment, a “mild Lisfranc” injury.
On Friday, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney released a statement saying that Newton has done all he can in the rehab process to get the foot back to 100 percent, but said Newton still hasn’t reached that point. He noted that Newton was traveling to meet with Dr. Anderson to “gather more information” about the injury.
Neither Newton nor the Panthers have commented on the diagnosis or whether they are considering a season-ending IR for the quarterback. If he does, it would be in line with past players who have suffered Lisfranc injuries, which often need a long recovery period. As NBC Sports noted, Washington Redskins defensive end Jonathan Allen ended up going on IR in 2017 after unsuccessfully attempting to rehab from the injury.
The Panthers have turned to backup Kyle Allen in Newton’s absence, and the backup has led the team to a 4-1 record while throwing for 1,059 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions. The fact that the Panthers remain in the playoff hunt despite losing Newton could give the team less hesitation at pulling the plug on his season, though it’s not clear when a decision on Newton could be made.