Panthers not planning to shut down Cam Newton despite shoulder injury
The Carolina Panthers are not planning to shut down Cam Newton despite having extremely slim playoff chances.
The Panthers lost to the New Orleans Saints 12-9 at home on Monday night for their sixth straight defeat. Now that they’ve slipped to 6-8, head coach Ron Rivera was asked after the game whether they would shut down Newton for the final two games. Rivera said no.
“No. What we’re going to do is we’ll see how the week goes like normal,” Rivera said. “We’ll continue to evaluate and we’ll listen to what the doctors have to say. Every week has been the same, and we’ll continue.”
Newton has been bothered by his surgically-repaired shoulder and hasn’t looked close to the form he displayed in his MVP year. He even had to be replaced for a Hail Mary attempt at the end of a game two weeks ago.
Carolina’s backup is Tyler Heinicke, who has only attempted five passes in his career. The Panthers have rolled with an injured Newton for so long they probably figure they might as well continue to go with him.
Here’s what has to happen for them to make the playoffs at this point:
The #Panthers' loss mathematically eliminates them from the #5 seed. They are still technically alive for a playoff berth, but will be eliminated with a loss or a win by either MIN or all of WAS, PHI and DAL.
— Bryan Knowles (@BryKno) December 18, 2018