Christian McCaffrey on Taylor Heinicke: 'He's extremely talented'

With Cam Newton unable to shoulder the load Panthers shut him down for at least a week

With Cam Newton unable to shoulder the load Panthers shut him down for at least a week

It was time to shut Newton down, which the Panthers finally did Wednesday - at least for this week's game against Atlanta.

For the first time in his National Football League career, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey will share the backfield on Sunday with someone other than Cam Newton.

Newton has been dealing with soreness in his right shoulder since the Panthers' comeback victory against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 21, which saw him throw 22 passes in the fourth quarter.

Newton arrived at practice Wednesday without a helmet and wearing sweats.

Newton will likely miss the regular-season finale against the New Orleans Saints as well, but the team elected not to put him on injured reserve.

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"He understood our thinking behind this", Rivera said. "Crazy enough things can happen, and we'll see from there".

Second-string quarterback Taylor Heincke will start in his absence while third-striger Kyle Allen will be Heincke's backup. The Panthers will reportedly start Taylor Heinicke under center this week against the Falcons. From the range of motion, you work on the range of motion then come game time and you never know how the game can play out.

Through 14 games, Newton has thrown 23 touchdowns vs. 13 interceptions. But I feel bad for him.

The Panthers previously removed Newton from a game to have Heinicke attempt a Hail Mary pass, a surprising decision considering Newton's best attribute as a passer is his arm strength. "Cam won't.' They've actually mentioned that multiple times". He also completed one pass for the Houston Texans last season.

Newton finished the night with his worst statistical game of the season in nearly every category, with just 4.5 passing yards per attempt, 131 total passing yards, and a 55.2 completion percentage.

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