Panthers replace struggling Cam Newton for final Hail Mary
The Carolina Panthers made a move late in Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that is sure to raise some eyebrows.
Down 24-17 and facing a Hail Mary attempt to try to tie the game, the Panthers replaced quarterback Cam Newton with backup Taylor Heinicke, sparking massive speculation about the state of Newton’s surgically-repaired shoulder.
Taylor Heincke comes in for Cam on a Hail Mary. Cam’s shoulder clearly isn’t right.
— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) December 2, 2018
Newton’s throwing shoulder has been an ongoing issue. He had surgery on it after the 2016 season and hasn’t been practicing on Wednesdays in order to protect it, according to the TV commentators.
Newton was unable to reach the end zone on a Hail Mary attempt from midfield as time expired. The Bucs were flagged for a penalty, which allowed the Panthers a second shot at a Hail Mary, leading them to bring in Heinicke for the second one. Heinicke reached the end zone on his attempt, but the ball fell incomplete to end the game.
Newton’s inability to reach the end zone on a Hail Mary is a bad sign about his arm.