Help is on the way for the struggling Carolina Panthers.
Cam Newton is one step closer to returning from concussion protocol. Newton is reportedly on the final stage of being cleared to fully practice. The quarterback joined the Panthers at practice on Wednesday and was wearing a red non-contact jersey.
Newton missed Monday’s 17-14 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a concussion that he sustained during a loss to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4.
The Panthers are off to a 1-4 start. Carolina has lost three straight games.
Newton has not enjoyed the same success as he did last year. The 2015 NFL MVP has just an 80.2 passer rating. In four games, Netwon is averaging 221 passing yards and 37 yards on the ground. A far cry from his production last year that saw him manufacture a 99.4 passer rating that earned him league MVP honors.
Newton is on track to play this week in New Orleans against the Saints. The sixth-year quarterback’s return should ignite Carolina’s offense. Yet the team’s defense is still a concern.
The Panthers’ defense is reeling without departed cornerback Josh Norman. The team’s secondary gets picked on week in and week out. Carolina’s secondary serves as the chief reason why the team’s off to a sputtering start.