Cam Newton returned to the Carolina Panthers and the NFL last week, literally announcing “I’M BACK” after scoring a rushing touchdown on his first snap. He would later follow that up with a touchdown pass to cement his long-awaited return to the league.
While PJ Walker got the start last week, there was plenty of speculation headed into this week that head coach Matt Rhule would decide to name Newton the starter moving forward. Earlier in the week, Rhule wouldn’t commit to the idea that Newton is the starter this weekend when the Panthers take on the Washington Football Team. However, he did say that Cam would be taking the majority of the first-team snaps and that “we’re trending that way.”
On Friday, Rhule noted that the trending had completely gone that way and announced that Newton will start this weekend for the Panthers.
Panthers’ HC Matt Rhule confirmed today to reporters that Cam Newton will, in fact, start Sunday vs. the WFT.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 19, 2021
Matt Rhule says Cam Newton will start vs. WFT: "Cam will take the first play."
— Joe Person (@josephperson) November 19, 2021
Not only is this significant because it means Newton returns to the position he held for nine seasons in Charlotte, but it means he’ll be doing it against the coach he played for during that time.
Now official: #Panthers HC Matt Rhule says Cam Newton will start Sunday vs. Washington.
– Ron Rivera returns to Carolina for the first time since being fired.
– Cam Newton returns to Carolina for the first time since being cut.
You couldn't script this stuff any better.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 19, 2021
Rhule noted that Walker will probably see some action as well.
The Panthers crowd is likely to be pretty fired up to welcome Newton back for the first time since he returned to play for the franchise. If he can lead them to victory, it might just signal a return to form and a great second chance for everyone involved.