Panthers 'cautiously optimistic' that Cam Newton will be ready for season opener

The one thing that the Carolina Panthers wanted to avoid in Week 3 of the preseason happened. Quarterback Cam Newton sustained an injury. 

After holding him out of the first two exhibition games, the Panthers decided to let Newton get a few reps under center on Thursday night. During the Panthers' third series, Newton was sacked and proceeded to limp off the field. He was later seen leaving Gillette Stadium in a walking boot, which naturally sent Panthers fans into a panic. 

Ian Rapoport reported that Newton's X-rays came back negative and that he was going to undergo more tests. The following day brought better news, as the Panthers now believe that this is not a serious injury.

According to Jourdan Rodrigue, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney told reporters that Newton suffered a mid-foot sprain on his left foot, and they are cautiously optimistic that he will be ready for the season opener on Sept. 8. 

Still, the Panthers are praying this issue doesn't linger. This foot injury follows the shoulder issue which derailed the Panthers' promising start in 2018. After winning six of their first eight games, the Panthers lost seven straight and eliminated themselves from the playoff race. 

To say Newton's absence from the field at the end of 2018 was noticeable would be an understatement. Without their star quarterback, Carolina automatically became the worst team in the NFC South. Newton opted to undergo surgery this offseason, the second time in as many years his right shoulder was operated on. 

The Panthers current backup quarterback is Kyle Allen. After going undrafted last year, the Panthers signed him to the practice squad and then promoted him to the active roster in December when Newton was shut down. He completed 20-of-31 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns in two games. Carolina also has third-round pick Will Grier, who is currently slated as the third-string quarterback. 

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