Heinicke (elbow) posted on his Twitter account Thursday that he's undergone successful surgery.
It was initially reported that Heinicke would not require surgery for his hyperextended elbow, but it appears that he did require a procedure of some sort. That addition could put his status in jeopardy for the start of OTAs. Even if he doesn't make it back for the start of the offseason, Heinicke is expected to serve as the top backup again in 2019.
Heinicke was diagnosed Thursday with a hyperextended left elbow and won't require surgery to address the matter, Joe Person of The Athletic reports.
Though the Panthers shut down Heinicke for the season after placing him on injured reserve Wednesday, the fourth-year signal-caller should be ready to go for OTAs with surgery off the table. He'll likely step back into his familiar role as the top backup to Cam Newton (shoulder) in 2019, assuming Carolina elects to tender Heinicke a contract. With Newton also ruled out for the season finale Sunday in New Orleans, third-string quarterback Kyle Allen is in line for his first NFL start.
After suffering a left elbow injury in his first NFL start in Sunday's loss to the Falcons, Heinicke required an MRI a day later. The results of Heinicke's scans aren't known, but the Panthers apparently determined he wouldn't be able to make it back for a Week 17 matchup with the Saints. With coach Ron Rivera suggesting earlier in the week that Cam Newton (shoulder) would remain shut down for the season finale, undrafted rookie Kyle Allen is on track to receive the starting assignment. To replace Heinicke on the roster, the Panthers signed Garrett Gilbert, who will presumably work as Allen's backup this weekend.
Coach Ron Rivera said Heinicke is slated to undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the left elbow injury the quarterback suffered in Sunday's 24-10 loss to the Falcons, David Newton of ESPN.com reports.
With Cam Newton (shoulder) sidelined for the first time all season Sunday, Heinicke drew his first NFL start. The 25-year-old exited in the second quarter after injuring his elbow but was cleared to return to the contest and finished with 33 completions on 53 attempts for 274 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions while adding another score and 33 yards on three carries. Heinicke showed impressive toughness while playing through the injury, but the Panthers probably won't hesitate to shut him down if the MRI reveals an unfavorable diagnosis. Rivera said the team would update Heinicke's condition Wednesday, but if the signal-caller is ruled out for the season finale in New Orleans, recent practice-squad callup Kyle Allen would likely be in line for the starting assignment. Rivera dismissed the possibility of bringing back Newton in Week 17 to play through the lingering shoulder injury.
Heinicke (elbow) completed 33 of 53 pass attempts for 274 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions Sunday against the Falcons. He also carried three times for 33 yards in the 24-10 loss.
Heinicke started with Cam Newton (shoulder) out and endured plenty of adversity in his first NFL start. He left the game briefly after suffering a painful elbow injury but was able to return, according to Bill Voth of the team's official site. Heinicke kept the team in the game for a while, but one interception near the goal line and another in the red zone ultimately hurt them. He should start next Sunday against the Saints barring a setback with his elbow, but he shouldn't be viewed as a worthy fantasy option.
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