Matt Rhule: Cam Newton will remain Panthers' starter following rough outing vs. Dolphins

Cam Newton didn't finish the Panthers' blowout loss in Miami, but he will start their next game in Carolina.

The former MVP struggled mightily Sunday, in his third appearance since rejoining the Panthers in early November. Newton completed just 5 of 21 passes with a touchdown and interception before being substituted for P.J. Walker in a 33-10 loss to the Dolphins.

Afterward, Panthers coach Matt Rhule said the decision to swap quarterbacks was driven by poor pass blocking and Walker having a better handle on the two-minute offense.

"I'm not making any changes right now," Rhule said. "At the end of the day, we weren't protecting the quarterback."

Newton will have two weeks to be better prepared, as Carolina has a bye before taking on Atlanta. After going unsigned for the first half of the season, the 11th-year veteran latched on with his original team days before making a cameo in its win over the Cardinals. Last week, he made his first start and played well despite a seven-point loss to Washington.

But Newton crashed hard in his first road start in 11 months. His 92 passing yards were reminiscent of his play with the Patriots late in 2020, when he failed to top 100 yards on three occasions over the final six weeks. His 23.8 completion percentage was the lowest by a QB with 20-plus attempts in a game since 2004, per NFL Research.

With the Panthers trailing by 20 early in the fourth quarter, Walker entered the game and led the final two series. One resulted in another INT and the other a turnover on downs, with Walker taking four sacks.

Newton later said he'll use the bye to work on the two-minute offense while asserting that his performance isn't cause for panic.

"This is the NFL. Nothing's promised," he said. "Just because Cam Newton's on your roster doesn't mean you're just gonna win. Just because it's a feel-good story doesn't mean you're gonna win. I'm well aware of that."

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