Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will not play this weekend while getting treated for a mid-foot sprain, sources said, and the team intends to keep him off the field until it is convinced that he is not at increased threat to aggravate the lingering injury.
Newton first experienced discomfort with the foot in the preseason and the Panthers, who are 0-2 but have a solid roster and have by no means given up on the season, want to do whatever they can to preclude this from becoming an injury that hinders him all season. Newton will be re-assessed prior to practice next Wednesday, with no determinations made at this point about any targeted return date. It's truly a week-to-week situation at this point, I'm told, and could result in more missed games.
Newton, a former NFL MVP, was clearly off in the second half of Week 2, misfiring badly and seemingly being unable to plant his feet as normal, which led to inaccurate throws and limited mobility. He has not run with the ball this season to the degree he has in years past, and is also coming off a season-ending shoulder injury.
The Panthers are going with Kyle Allen over rookie Will Grier as their backup based on Allen's advanced experience in this system, and his performance in a spot start last season put him in line to take over. Allen was once teammates with Kyler Murray, the first-overall pick who he will face in Arizona today, back at Texas A&M, and he is a product of that Air Raid system that is becoming increasingly popular in the NFL.
Allen threw for two touchdowns and was an impressive 16 of 27 with another rushing touchdown in a victory over New Orleans at the end of last year after getting promoted from the practice squad. The Panthers are very intrigued about the long-term potential of Grier, whom they selected in third round out of West Virginia, but sources said many inside the organization believe that having 2019 be in essence a "redshirt year" for him, learning from the other quarterbacks and getting practice reps, is best for his development, with no plans to get him ready to start in the short term.