Newton has been battling a foot problem — it’s reportedly a mid-foot sprain — since the preseason and clearly was not himself in his last game Sept. 12 against the Buccaneers. Last week, however, the Panthers didn’t rule him out until Friday, letting the uncertainty linger until Rivera began to grow frustrated with the constant questions from reporters about it.
Rivera spoke to reporters shortly after the Panthers made the announcement and didn’t shed too much light on the situation, other than to say that he’s “staying out” of any decision about Newton undergoing surgery.
Allen’s performance Sunday against the Cardinals certainly helped the Panthers with their decision this week. Making his second career start, Allen completed 19 of 26 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns as Carolina won for the first time this season. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Allen’s 90.6 QBR is the highest by any quarterback in his first two career starts.
After the game, Rivera said Newton will reassume his starting job when healthy but that the team would be “rolling” with Allen until then. Newton has completed 50 of 89 passes this season, with zero touchdowns and an interception. He has carried the ball only five times for minus-two yards, a drastic change from previous seasons when he was an integral part of the Panthers’ rushing attack.