If Cam Newton isn’t a go for Sunday (foot), the Carolina Panthers will turn to Kyle Allen to take over quarterbacking duties, according to Joe Person of The Athletic.
Newton is dealing with a mid-foot injury that he aggravated in last week’s “Thursday Night Football” 20-14 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The quarterback clearly looked off in the game, as he didn’t run and missed multiple passes en route to a 25 for 51 for 333 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions, showing.
Despite a poor preseason, Allen is the Panthers’ No. 2 quarterback, rather than rookie Will Grier. In 2018, his rookie season, he played in two games for Carolina (one start) and tallied 266 yards and two touchdowns to no interceptions on a 64.5% completion rate.
If Newton sits (which is increasingly likely), head coach Ron Rivera trusts Allen against their Week 3 foes, the Arizona Cardinals. Said Rivera, via Brenden Marks of the Charlotte Observer:
“I think Kyle’s more than ready. Kyle did some really good things last year, showed us what he’s capable of. He had a good preseason. Had a whole bunch of ups, had a few downs … He knows the offense. He knows it very well, so we feel confident about him.
Rivera also notes that Allen needs to speed up.
“I just think at times as you watch him, he needs to speed himself up a little bit. Because one thing he will have to get used to obviously is the speed of the game. I mean, he’s only played in limited situations, so things are a lot faster. I think he’s got the ability, so it’ll be fun to watch him.”
The Cardinals, who are 0-1-1, don’t have the defense to give Allen fits. However, they have a talented pass-rush in Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs. If the Panthers are forced to sit Newton Week 4, he’ll face the Houston Texans, who boast J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus.