Ron Rivera avoids answering question about Cam Newton’s playoff availability
The Carolina Panthers placed quarterback Cam Newton on the injured reserve on Tuesday, ending his season. That puts the team in the hands of Kyle Allen at quarterback.
While that’s not great news, the Panthers have been playing great under Allen. Since he took over at quarterback, the team is 5-1. That gives them a 5-3 record on the year and puts Carolina in a pretty solid position to fight for a playoff spot over their final eight games.
This led to some wondering if Newton would even have the starting spot once he returned. However, that question will be left unanswered a little bit longer due to Carolina placing him on injured reserve, taking him out of action for the rest of the season.
Newton would be eligible to return in the playoffs if the Panthers make it that far though. So naturally, this led to many wondering if he would be the starter should that happen.
According to Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com, head coach Ron Rivera wasn’t really answering those questions though.
“Yesterday, Marty’s statement pretty much tells the story of it all,” Rivera said, via video from the team. “As he says in the statement, Cam worked very hard and worked toward getting better. He went up and saw Dr. [Bob] Anderson, and he’s progressing. We feel right now probably the best thing was to put him on IR and move forward, and that’s where we are. I really do appreciate everything Cam does. I appreciate the fact he’s still here; he still wants to be around. He’s part of it, and he’s done a great job of doing that, so with that, I’d like to start talking about the Packers.”
You can’t blame Rivera for not answering. First of all, there is no right answer. If you say Newton would start, you’re admitting you don’t trust Allen as much. Then if Newton ends up not being healthy enough, you’re in an awkward spot.
Meanwhile, if you say Allen and he ends up struggling, you’re in the same spot with Newton.
Finally, Rivera is right. They should be talking about the Packers. The Panthers are 5-3. That’s really good, but not a guarantee for a playoff spot. They should focus on getting there before wondering who the quarterback will be.