After the Carolina Panthers announced Monday that quarterback Cam Newton would miss his second consecutive start in Week 4, reports surfaced that he could have to sit out extended time – in the realm of four to eight weeks for his Lisfranc sprain.
“What Cam needs right now is time and rest for his foot. We want him at 100 percent when he’s ready, so there’s no exact timetable for his return,” Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. “At this point, we’re going to go forward with Kyle [Allen] as our starter.”
Friday afternoon, in a raw, 15-minute YouTube vlog, Newton released his side of the story.
“This is my opportunity to be transparent to the viewer, to Panther Nation, to the people who follow me, to the people who hate me,” he said, looking directly at the camera while smoking a cigar and sipping red wine.
Newtown explained that his years-long focus on rehabbing his shoulder distracted him from his new foot injury, which he initially tried to play through.
“All my attention has been shoulder, shoulder, shoulder... fast forward to preseason game 3, and something happened – the unthinkable, so to speak. Something else got hurt.”
Cam Newton comes to terms with needing rest
But after paying Weeks 1 and 2 of the regular season, with Carolina losing both efforts, he didn’t feel like himself.
“I’m thinking to myself, I can’t run. It’s one thing to have the ability to run, and not, rather than to have opportunities to run, and you can’t,” he explained. “We didn’t seem Cam’s mark on that game.”
“For so long I’ve played this game one way, the only way I know how to play, and at this particular point in time, that No. 1 that’s out there, hasn’t been that same person.”
Now, he’s shifting his focus to the team’s long-term success. Newton trusts that his team will be successful without him, and is confident he needn’t rush back before he’s ready. In the interim, he’ll help out his teammates wherever he can.
“If I’m able to get the time off for me to heal and get back to 100%, then I have no doubt in my mind everything that we want as a team can still be accomplished,” he said. “Right now, I cannot be the best player for this team if I’m ailing an injury that needs time to heal.”
Newton, 30, also said it was hard for him to realize that he needed to take a step. He watched film, however, from his early-season starts, and found it hard to look at.
“I needed to see that me at 80% is not okay,” he said. “I need to get back to 100%.”
“As I get older, I realize it’s okay to take time off,” Newton added. “There’s been quarterbacks for years – there’s been players for years – who has this realization with themselves, and looking at those situations also gave me comfort in not rushing back... I’ve decided that I will take time away from the game. This is me being a bigger person and being real with myself and saying, ‘look, what’s the ultimate goal that you’re trying to accomplish?’”
Newton goes on to say he could be out any number of weeks: “At the end of the day, I’ve just got to get right. I’ve got to get right.”
A few weeks isn’t so bad, however, compared to what Panthers owner David Tepper suggested in January might have been necessary for his quarterback: an Andrew Luck-style year off from the sport to rehab his shoulder. So there could be a silver lining yet.
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