Cam Newton to start against Washington Football Team, Ron Rivera Sunday

Carolina Panthers

FILE – Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) passes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 12, 2019. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Panthers have agreed to a one-year contact to bring quarterback Cam Newton back to the franchise that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2011. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, because the deal has not been announced by the team. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco, File)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) – Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said quarterback Cam Newton will start Sunday against the Washington Football Team and his former head coach Ron Rivera.

Newton, who was re-signed by Carolina last week, appeared minimally in Week 10 in the Panthers’ road victory against the Arizona Cardinals but was responsible for two of the team’s touchdowns.

He tossed a 2-yard touchdown to wide receiver Robby Anderson and rushed in another during Carolina’s 34-10 victory over the previous 8-1 Cardinals to give them their second loss on the year.

Newton backed up P.J. Walker after starter Sam Darnold was ruled out multiple weeks with a fractured shoulder blade.

But Carolina, and Rhule, indirectly have hinted they’re not confident starting Walker long-term. So, the organization brought in the former first-round pick back to the organization in hopes he can help get Carolina back to the playoffs.

“Cam will take the first play,” Rhule said in media availability Friday.

Rhule also said Walker will likely see the field Sunday, too. But it’s likely the uneven split will be more in Newton’s favor now that he has had more than a week with his former team.

Newton will play in his first home game in Carolina since 2019 and take on a Washington defense that just lost 2020 Rookie of the Year defensive end Chase Young to a torn ACL. Edge rusher Motez Sweat will also miss his third straight game with a broken jaw, leaving the Football Team with a depleted defense.

The Panthers haven’t won at home since Week 2 back in September against the New Orleans Saints.

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