In his first public comments since being sidelined, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton confirmed he has a Lisfranc injury that he says he kept secret from his own team.
In a YouTube video blog published Friday, the Panthers’ longtime starting quarterback revealed he has a mild Lisfranc sprain on his left foot, an injury he says he suffered in the team’s third preseason game against the New England Patriots last month.
Accompanied by a cigar and a glass of wine, the three-time Pro Bowler and 2015 NFL MVP admitted that he did not inform head coach Ron Rivera or the team that he was injured — even when he realized warming up before the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams that he was not himself.
“I was hiding an injury where I could have easily said, ‘You know what, Coach, I don’t think I’m ready. Maybe I need to kind of consider sitting this one out for the betterment [of the team],’” Newton said, adding that he told some on the coaching staff that he was fine even after they asked if he was healthy.
Reasoning that he stayed silent partially because of his “Superman” persona, Newton said he “got in my own way. Because, automatically, I thought, ‘I’ve got to play Week 1. I can’t let my fans down. I’ve got to be there for my team.’”
Newton, already coming off an offseason shoulder surgery on his throwing arm, did not look like himself as the Panthers dropped their first two games against the Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Newton said he finally told Rivera after he couldn’t push off his foot to attempt a potential game-winning touchdown on 4th-and-1 at the Tampa 2-yard line in the waning seconds — with Carolina instead direct-snapping to Christian McCaffrey.
NFL Network reported Tuesday that backup Kyle Allen is likely to be the starter for several weeks. Allen threw four touchdown passes and led the Panthers to their first win of the 2019 season in Week 3 at Arizona.
In the season’s first two games, Newton has completed 56.2 percent of his passes for 572 yards. In 89 pass attempts, he has not thrown a touchdown pass and has one interception.
Newton has two years remaining on his five-year contract extension. The 30-year-old is owed more than US$ 21 million, including a $ 2 million option bonus, for the 2020 season.