Cam Newton ‘trending’ toward starting for Carolina Panthers in Week 11

Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Just a few days after returning to the Carolina Panthers, former NFL MVP Cam Newton scored two touchdowns in a blowout win over the Arizona Cardinals this past Sunday. It was a surprising backdrop as Newton looks to regain earlier-career form.

With Carolina set to take on the Washington Football Team on Sunday, it’s certainly looking like Newton will get the call under center.

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule spoke to the media on Wednesday, indicating that things are trending in the direction of Newton starting.

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Reasonable expections for Cam Newton

carolina panthers qb cam newton to start week 11
Nov 14, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) runs for a touchdown past Arizona Cardinals linebacker Zaven Collins (25) and linebacker Markus Golden (44) in the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic

Newton starred for the Panthers from 2011-19, earning three Pro Bowl appearances and an NFL MVP in the process. On the surface, this would indicate that he’s ready to take the playbook on without a problem.

That’s just on the surface. This is an entirely new regime and coaching staff. Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady run a much different offense than what we saw in Carolina under Newton for a near-decade.

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At least initially, there promises to be some minor issues for Cam Newton getting up to speed. He’ll also be taking on a Washington Football Team that just picked off Tom Brady twice last Sunday and is led by Newton’s former Carolina head coach in that of Ron Rivera. This familiarity could have a pretty big impact on Newton’s performance come Week 11.

As for the Panthers, they sit at 5-5 on the season and have won two of three following an ugly four-game slide with Sam Darnold at the helm. Right now, there’s no reason to believe Darnold will regain his starting job once he returns from short-term injured reserve. This magnified by the fact that Newton could earn $11 million this season with incentives. Given when he signed, that’s starting-quarterback money.