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Rivera won't talk Cam Newton possibly coming off IR

A day after the Carolina Panthers placed Cam Newton on injured reserve, coach Ron Rivera wasn't in the mood to get into hypotheticals on the quarterback's situation or future.

Rivera referred to the team's statement on Newton and tried to focus on the upcoming game against the Green Bay Packers.

"(GM) Marty (Hurney's) statement pretty much tells the story of it all," Rivera said Wednesday. "As he said in the statement, Cam worked very hard and was getting better, and he went up and saw Dr. Anderson and he's progressing. We felt right now probably the best thing was to put him on IR and move forward, and that's where we are with it, guys. I really do appreciate everything Cam does. I appreciate the fact that he's still here; that he wants to be around ,and he's done a great job of doing that. So with that I'd like to start talking about playing the Packers."

Of course, the coach wasn't done discussing the former MVP who went on IR with a foot injury that has kept him out since Week 2.

Rivera said it was a "collective" decision to shut down Newton. The signal-caller is technically eligible to return from IR in eight weeks. For that to happen, the Panthers would be in the playoffs. And for that to happen, current starter Kyle Allen would have to continue to play well for the balance of the season.

Rivera wasn't considering dancing with that hypothetical scenario.

"Just so everyone understands, that question will not be addressed until it's time to address (it). OK?" he said. "So, at the end of the day, he's on IR. Alright? Kyle Allen is our quarterback."

Allen has won five of six games started this season, helping the Panthers to 5-3, in the thick of the NFC playoff hunt. If the Panthers are forced to make a decision on Newton, it means a lot has gone right the final eight weeks of the season.

As for Newton, the quarterback was in the locker room during the portion open to the media Wednesday, but declined -- playfully, according to reporters -- to discuss his injury.

"Y'all got all the answers anyway," Newton quipped, via Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer, noting he hasn't talked in "a month of Sundays," due to injury and wouldn't start now with "still a month of Sundays" left.

When those final Sundays of the 2019 season are up, the speculation about Newton's future in Carolina will truly begin.

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