CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Cam Newton's status is no longer a mystery. The Carolina Panthers starting quarterback is officially out for Sunday's away game versus the Arizona Cardinals.
Newton missed multiple practices during the week after reaggravating a mid-foot sprain last Thursday while playing Tampa Bay.
The 30-year-old 2015 league MVP originally sprained his left foot in Carolina’s third preseason game against the Patriots but returned to practice in time for the regular-season opener.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said backup Kyle Allen would make his second career NFL start for the Panthers against Arizona if Newton wasn't able to play. Rivera said that means the Panthers (0-2) will have to circle the wagons with four of their next five games on the road.
The Panthers stumbled to a poor start, losing to the Rams and Buccaneers at home.
Newton’s performance on the field has been in question since the start of the season.
He ranks 31st in the NFL in passer efficiency rating (71) among qualifying QBs and has completed just 56 percent of his passes for 572 yards with no touchdown passes and one interception. As a runner, Newton hasn’t been effective either, carrying five times for minus-2 yards with two fumbles, leading to some questions about his long-term future with the team.
Newton has not thrown or run for a touchdown in his last four games dating back to last season when he was plagued by shoulder injuries.
Panthers safety Eric Reid said if Newton is out any length of time he would “welcome” the team signing former 49ers teammate Colin Kaepernick, who remains a free agent.
It's unclear when Newton will return to the field. River said Newton would not travel with the team to Arizona.
Watch the game starting at 4:05p Sunday on FOX 46 WJZY.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.