"(Newton) worked through a lot of the soreness this week, felt pretty good at the end of the week...," coach Ron Rivera said, per Joe Person of The Athletic. "The one thing we don't want to do is have another setback. So, we want to make sure he is ready to roll and his foot can handle it."
The news doesn't come as a shock as Newton sat out practice all week after aggravating the foot injury he suffered during the preseason. The quarterback's status has caused consternation for Rivera all week, with the coach exiting Thursday's media session early after being peppered with Newton questions.
The foot issue, coupled with Newton's comeback from offseason shoulder surgery, has gotten the QB's season off to a rocky start as the Panthers begin 0-2 heading to the desert. Notably, likely due to the mid-foot sprain, Carolina hasn't asked Newton to run the ball this season. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound QB rushed for negative-two yards on five attempts with two credited fumbles through two games.
The injury problems have clearly hindered Newton's play, who looked like a shell of the quarterback he's been throughout his nine-year career. In last Thursday night's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Newton missed a host of receivers by a mile, and completed just 49 percent of his 51 attempts.
In a season in which Rivera & Co. needed to show improvement to keep their jobs, Newton's injury to open the 2019 campaign is a brutal blow. The hope is that time off will allow the signal-caller to get right to make a run in an NFC South division that appears wide open after the New Orleans Saints lost Drew Brees due to injury.
For now, the winless Panthers put their faith in Allen, who has one career start -- last year in Week 17 versus the Saints, who sat many of their starters. Allen went 16-of-27 for 228 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs and a 111.3 passer rating in that lone start. It was also the Panthers only win in the past 10 games. Carolina hopes Allen can produce another win or two to keep the ship from sinking until Newton can return.