Panthers QB Cam Newton had ankle surgery in the spring and a rib injury to start the regular season, causing some wraps to be thrown on his game but the team’s facing questions about when those wraps are going to come off.
Coach Ron Rivera said that the team wants to “unleash” Newton and move him from being one percent of the rushing offense closer to his customary 30 percent, but that they need to make sure the time is right before cutting loose.
“It’s very hard,” Rivera said, via ESPN.com. “You can see it. You just know he wants to cut loose and do certain things. You can feel it, and a lot of times you see him start to do it, but it’s coming. We’ve got to do this the right way.”
The Panthers may have no choice as their backfield is depleted due to injury. Newton has just four rushes for 14 yards this season, but has 28 rushing TDs over the last three years. As the story points out, the offensive line is no help either so if he's going to take hits in the pocket, why not turn him loose, especially at a time when it looks like they need him the most. The Panthers host the Bears this week, and after a tough Week 6 matchup vs. the Bengals, things look like they ease up a bit schedule-wise for the running game.