Last weekend, Cam Newton made his triumphant return to the Carolina Panthers. He scored on his first play back on the field and then threw a touchdown pass a short while later, making for an electric 2021 debut.
Fast forward a few days and Newton is well on his way to make his first start this season.
According to multiple reports, Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said that he and his coaching staff are “trending that way” when asked if the 2015 MVP would be starting for Carolina in Week 11 against the Washington Football Team.
Rhule reiterated that P.J. Walker would still ready to play this Sunday, but momentum is clearly moving in Newton’s direction.
In his press conference, Panthers head coach Matt Rhule says “we’re trending that way” in terms of Cam Newton starting on Sunday.
He said they’ll continue to have P.J. Walker ready as well, but plenty of signs pointing towards Cam starting against Washington.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 17, 2021
The decision to start Newton would make for a whirlwind last few weeks for the 32-year-old quarterback. Just six days ago, the veteran free agent signed a one-year deal to return to the Panthers for the first time since the 2019 season. He’d spent the first half of the 2021 campaign without a team to play for after the New England Patriots released him at the end of training camp.
With the Panthers current quarterback woes, and Newton’s quick learning ability, Rhule clearly feels confident enough to play him already. To no one’s surprise, NFL fans and media members were thrilled at the prospect of seeing the former No. 1 overall pick take the field again after last week’s remarkable performance.
That is a pretty good indication that Cam Newton is likely starting, as he should. Unrelated: I picked him up in fantasy last Thursday at around 11 am and will be starting him on Sunday. https://t.co/hyL9rnlUKR
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 17, 2021
— KimberLEY A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) November 17, 2021
— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) November 17, 2021
— Duke Coughlin (@ThatPodGuyDuke) November 17, 2021
If Newton does get to join the Panthers other starters this weekend, it’ll be special for more than one reason. Firstly, the game will be his first back in front of a home Carolina crowd in nearly two years.
In addition to the warm welcome that he’ll surely receive from Panthers fans, Newton will get a chance to play against his former head coach, Ron Rivera. The two achieved a lot together in Carolina, both individually and as a team, and will now get to meet for the first time as opponents.
Newton and the Panthers will square off against the Rivera-led Washington Football Team at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.