The Carolina Panthers might have to right the ship this weekend without the reigning MVP.
The Panthers fear quarterback Cam Newton won’t be able to clear concussion protocol before Monday night’s showdown with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to ESPN’s David Newton.
Newton suffered the injury late in Sunday’s 48-33 loss to the Atlanta Falcons after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Falcons linebacker Deion Jones.
If Newton is unable to play, Derek Anderson would get the start against the Buccaneers. Anderson threw two touchdowns and two interceptions in relief of Newton on Sunday. Anderson hasn’t started a game since 2014, when he went 2-0 with five touchdowns in Newton’s place.
The Panthers will be staring a 1-4 start in the face when they welcome the NFC South rival Buccaneers to Bank of America Stadium. The Buccaneers are also 1-3 after dropping three straight since a season-opening victory over Atlanta.
Coach Ron Rivera said he doesn’t know how his team will prepare for Monday’s game.
“I have no idea,” Rivera said of his preparation for Monday’s game, according to Newton. “It really is tough to answer the question. It’s hard. I don’t want to say something that would go against what the trainers are saying, or the doctors for that matter.”