Panthers’ Matt Rhule says Cam Newton ‘trending’ toward starting vs. Washington on Sunday

USA Today

The Carolina Panthers shocked the NFL world last week when they signed former quarterback Cam Newton to a one-year deal, and one week later, it looks like he will take over as their starting signal-caller. On Wednesday, Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said that the former NFL MVP is “trending” toward starting on Sunday vs. the Washington Football Team.

“You know, I think we’re probably trending that way to be quite honest with you. I’m not gonna probably pull that trigger ’til later,” Rhule said, per NFL.com. “But I think, and I was pretty transparent the other day, in terms of wanting to push him into that role I think it’s good for our team. But we’re getting P.J. (Walker) ready as well. As I said, game plan wise, I think we could see a myriad of different things happen.”

It was always “trending” this way, as Sam Darnold was placed on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury. The former New York Jets signal-caller has disappointed as well, and Carolina needed to make a move if it wanted a chance at making the postseason. This will be Newton’s first start with the Panthers since Sept. 12, 2019, when Carolina fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-14. 

While it remains to be seen if Newton is still a legitimate starting quarterback, there’s no question that he has injected energy into the entire franchise. In the 34-10 upset victory over the Arizona Cardinals last week, Newton completed 3 of 4 passes for 8 yards and one touchdown, and rushed three times for 14 yards and another touchdown. He scored both touchdowns on his first two snaps last week, which made him the first quarterback in the last 30 years to run for a touchdown on his first rush of the…

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