It has been a tough season for Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, and his year will be cut short by a nagging shoulder injury.
Former NFL MVP Cam Newton is one of the top ten quarterbacks in the NFL, and he looked like an MVP candidate in the first half of the season, tossing just four interceptions over the first nine weeks of the campaign. At one point, Newton had a streak of 11 straight games with multiple touchdown passes, leading a multi-faceted Carolina Panthers offense in some close games.
However, the Panthers have largely failed to win those tight contests, and after looking like a sleeper team in the NFC, they went on a serious losing streak that bounced them out of playoff contention. With Newton suffering from a nagging shoulder injury and the Panthers a ways out of the playoff race, Carolina has wisely decided to shut down their franchise player.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Panthers will rest Cam for the final two games of the regular season, which will be against the rival Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, as a result of this shoulder injury. Taylor Heinicke will have a chance to impress under center in the Panthers offense.
It’s an unfortunate end to a difficult season for Newton, who was clearly affected by the shoulder injury. His streak of 11 straight games with multiple touchdown tosses was broken up in Week 14 in a loss to the hard-nosed Cleveland Browns, and Newton threw zero touchdowns with an interception in back-to-back games prior to this news.
Despite the rough finish to his 2018 season, Newton finishes the year with a completion percentage of 67.2, 24 touchdowns to 13 interceptions, 7.2 yards per pass attempt, and four rushing touchdowns on an average of about 35 rushing yards per game.
So as a whole, it was a productive season for Newton, in spite of the issues on defense, the second-half collapse, and coaching staff woes. Cam was a real bright spot for the Panthers, and with the likes of Ian Thomas, D.J. Moore, Christian McCaffrey, and Curtis Samuel emerging as a talent quartet on offense, Newton could have a big 2019.
The Panthers must keep their eyes towards the future, especially when it comes to their 29-year-old superstar quarterback.