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Cam Newton Return ‘Too Early’ to Consider After Sam Darnold Injury, Says Panthers HC

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 27, 2022

John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule isn't yet ready to pursue a reunion with Cam Newton despite the team's quarterback depth already getting put to the test.

Rhule didn't rule out the idea, though.

"[General manager Scott Fitterer] and I will talk about that," he told reporters Friday. "Obviously, Cam would have to weigh in on that. There’d be a lot of things that we’d have to look at. You guys know my feelings on Cam. My time with him was fantastic. But probably too early right now to say much about that."

The Panthers placed rookie QB Matt Corral on injured reserve after he suffered a Lisfranc injury that will rule him out for his rookie year. Then NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Friday that Sam Darnold may have suffered a high-ankle sprain.

As a result, Carolina may need to add another quarterback ahead of the regular season.

While he didn't close the door on Newton, one couldn't blame Rhule for being a bit lukewarm on the idea of signing him again.

The three-time Pro Bowler initially had a homecoming straight from a storybook in 2021 as he scored touchdowns with his first two touches in a win over the Arizona Cardinals. Over time, the bloom came off the rose, though.

In eight appearances with the team, Newton threw for 684 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. He also ran for 230 yards and five touchdowns on 47 carries.

Unlike last year, though, the Panthers wouldn't be adding the 33-year-old with an eye toward starting him for any stretch of games. Rhule confirmed what many expected when he named Baker Mayfield the starter for Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns.

Newton would arguably be an upgrade over P.J. Walker. Through two years in Carolina, Walker has thrown for 730 yards, two touchdowns and eight interceptions.

As a backup who can be utilized in a situational role, Newton would make sense as a short-term solution to the Panthers' injury problems at quarterback.

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