Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper told reporters that quarterback Cam Newton sitting out the entire 2019 season could be an option, if it meant a full recovery from a right shoulder injury that forced him to miss the final two games of the 2018 campaign, per David Newton of ESPN.com.
The Panthers' signal-caller, who was the league's 2015 MVP and has led Carolina to the playoffs in four of his eight seasons, had shoulder surgery between the 2016 and 2017 campaigns. The shoulder clearly bothered him in the second half of the 2018 season, however, and he finished just 23rd in adjusted yards per pass attempt.
Tepper offered the following remarks when asked to look at Newton's dilemma through the lens of Andrew Luck's situation: "If you told me he took a year off and could recover and be fully recovered and everything else, and that's what it took, an extra year, why wouldn't you do [that]?" Tepper asked.
"When you make a decision, this gets into business, or here ... you want to keep your options open as much as possible," Tepper added. "And you want to put yourself in a position to win. Not a position to lose, but a position to win."
David Newton wrote that the Panthers quarterback could be out for the entire season should he opt for another surgery. In the hypothetical scenario that Newton would need to miss some amount of time, the Panthers would need to figure out reinforcements.
Kyle Allen started for the Panthers in their last game against the New Orleans Saints and dominated to the tune of 228 passing yards on 27 attempts for two touchdowns. He also added 19 rushing yards and another score.
While the Saints didn't play their defensive starters for the entire game in order to rest up for the playoffs, a handful of key players did play at least half of the contest, including cornerback Eli Apple and defensive end Marcus Davenport.
The 22-year-old won't necessarily be given the keys to the offense in 2019 with that one performance, but it's certainly a step in the right direction if the Panthers need to find a starter.
Taylor Heinicke, who started against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16, could be an option. The Panthers may also go on the free-agent market to find someone. While the options aren't endless, a few solid veterans are out there, such as ex-Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
Still, this is Newton's team for the foreseeable future, as the franchise quarterback doesn't turn 30 years old until May. The 2015 NFL MVP is one of the game's most electric players when healthy, and hopefully he's ready to go for 2019.