Carolina Panthers

Panthers rule QB Cam Newton out for Week 4 at Houston; Kyle Allen to start again

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been ruled out for this Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans.

Newton re-injured his left foot in Week 2 against Tampa Bay and did not practice all last week leading up to Sunday’s 38-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Newton originally sprained his mid-left foot in the third week of the preseason against New England, and he missed about a week’s worth of practices.

Coach Ron Rivera said Monday that there is “no timetable” for Newton’s return.

“No, I don’t (have any idea of his status beyond this week),” Rivera said. “And to be honest with you, it was really to answer the question that I was probably going to get. It was to make sure that everybody understands there is no timetable, and just really end it.”

Newton’s recovery timeline has shifted somewhat since he aggravated the injury two weeks ago. When Newton first missed practice last Tuesday, general manager Marty Hurney told reporters that Newton was “day-by-day,” but Rivera said Friday when he officially ruled Newton out that the team would just have to “wait it out.”

Asked about the severity of Newton’s injury and if any surgical options were still on the table, Rivera said: “The medical side of it, I’m staying out of it.”

If Newton’s injury is more serious than a normal foot sprain — say, a Lisfranc injury of any degree — there is the potential it takes Newton even longer than anticipated to recover. (A Lisfranc injury involves displaced bones in the foot.)

Rivera also declined to say whether Newton would travel to Houston. He was not with the team this weekend in Arizona, instead staying in Charlotte to continue his rehab.

Second-year backup Kyle Allen started against the Cardinals and excelled. In his second NFL start, he threw four touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating of 144.4 was the second-highest in a game in team history, trailing only Newton’s 153.3 rating against Atlanta in 2015.

Rivera explained Monday that the team is moving forward with Allen as the starter.

“I think Kyle’s performance was what we needed,” Rivera said. “He came out and played very well and did the things we were hoping he would do.

“What it does is it energized us at a time we needed a little bit of energy.”

Brendan Marks is a general assignment sports reporter for the Charlotte Observer covering the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, NASCAR and more. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has worked for the Observer since August 2017.
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