NFL: 'Superman' Cam gravitates back to Carolina
Head coach Matt Rhule hasn't ruled out the possibility of Cam Newton playing against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday after the Carolina Panthers brought him back to Charlotte following an injury and loss of form from quarterback Sam Darnold.
Carolina, now bottom of the NFC South, are 13/5 to stun the 5/16 Cardinals in Phoenix, where the Green Bay Packers gave them their only taste of defeat this season in late October.
Darnold on a downer
Darnold's play in the last five weeks has been nothing short of woeful as he has thrown a league-high 11 interceptions with a 59.5 per cent completion rate.
Panthers coach Rhule reached out to Newton, who has been without employment since being cut by New England in pre-season, when Darnold's subsequent shoulder injury came to light.
We brought Cam here because of who he is at quarterback and we brought him here to play.Matt Rhule
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"He emphatically said yes," Rhule said of the NFL's Most Valuable Player of 2015 who became known for his superman-style celebrations as he led the Panthers on the road to Super Bowl 50.
A five-star recruit out of Atlanta who won the Heisman Trophy and BCS national championship after transferring to Auburn, Newton made an instant impact on the NFL after being drafted No.1 overall by the Panthers in 2011.
He set rookie records for passing (4,051) and rushing yards (706) by a quarterback, winning the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award and becoming the first to throw for 4,000 yards in his first season and the first to throw for 400 yards in his NFL debut.
Rhule cool on Newton role
Rhule was keeping his thoughts about whether Newton will be ready to face the Cardinals to himself, but acknowledged that the Panthers will likely trot him out sooner rather than later.
"I can't do hypotheticals," he said, via nfl.com. "Obviously we brought Cam here because of who he is at quarterback and we brought him here to play. But we're not looking into the future. We just got to get him here."