A week after rejoining the Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton is back in his familiar role: starting quarterback.
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule announced Friday that Newton will start Sunday against the Washington Football team and Newton's friend, Washington head coach Ron Rivera.
Panthers QB Cam Newton to start Sunday vs. Washington pic.twitter.com/YpMGevPpjX
— NFL (@NFL) November 19, 2021
Newton and Rivera spent nine years together, making their maiden voyages together starting in Newton's rookie season of 2011, which was Rivera's first year as an NFL head coach.
The start will be Newton's 125th for the Panthers and his 140th in the NFL. Newton also will be squaring off against his former backup in Carolina, Taylor Heinecke, who led an upset victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.
In his first game back with the Panthers last week, Newton made his presence felt in a massive way — despite playing only nine snaps in relief. He completed 3 of 4 passes for eight yards and a touchdown and also ran three more times for 14 yards and another score in Carolina's 34-10 win at Arizona.
Following his TD run last week, Newton shouted: "I'm back! I'm back!"
Sunday will be Newton's first start back at Bank of America Stadium since Week 2 of the 2019 season. He aggravated a foot injury in that game and didn't play the rest of the season, eventually landing on injured reserve.
After signing with the Patriots in 2020, Newton ran for 12 TDs and caught another one. But overall he struggled as the Patriots' starter, throwing eight TDs and 10 interceptions. After losing a battle with rookie Mac Jones in the preseason, the Patriots cut Newton in August.
But now he's back in the saddle again as the Panthers' starter. Just like old times.