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CHARLOTTE Blue Matt Paradis Jersey , N.C. (AP) — Panthers coach Ron Rivera hasn’t ruled out shutting down quarterback Cam Newton for the season because of a sore right throwing shoulder.Rivera said Tuesday he plans to meet with Newton later in the week and figure out where he is “in terms of his physical state and mental state” before deciding if he will start Sunday against Atlanta.“It’s a tough situation right now,” Rivera added. “Until I get a chance to visit with him I’m not going to speculate.”“I’m not looking forward to that conversation,” Newton said after Carolina’s 12-9 loss to the Saints on Monday night.The eighth-year quarterback was noticeably frustrated talking about his lingering shoulder injury. The chiseled 6-foot-5, 245-pounder was a mere shell of his former self, struggling to throw the ball more than 10 yards down the field.Newton’s frustration stems from not knowing exactly what the issue is with his shoulder.“I think the thing, when you talk to different people who can help you with it, is that there’s not any magical surgery or whatever. It’s just time,” Newton said. “I’ve tried and done everything.”He’s been taking anti-inflammatories Matt Paradis Jersey 2019 , getting massages and trying acupuncture. He said there hasn’t been a night that’s gone by without having some type of work done on his shoulder.Newton has been on a “pitch count” in practice for the better part of the season, often not throwing at all on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the week so he can rest.Nothing seems to work.He said the shoulder is not getting worse, but it’s not getting better either.However, the missed time in practice is affecting his timing with his receivers and he doesn’t have the same zip on the ball as he did when he led the Panthers to the Super Bowl in the 2015 season, throwing for 35 touchdowns.“I’ve been eager to go to (head trainer Ryan Vermillion’s) office, weeks and weeks and weeks and kind of find out what it is. ‘Did you find something? What am I supposed to do? What do we have to do?'” Newton said. “… It is what it was, just a lot of soreness and tension in the joints.”Without a diagnosis that demands he sits out, Newton has continued to play through the pain — and the frustration.He doesn’t even know if he will need another surgery after the season.Rivera doesn’t seem to know exactly what’s wrong with Newton either Blue Eric Reid Jersey , referring all injury-related questions to the team’s medical staff. The Associated Press requested to talk to Vermillion through the team’s PR department, but he was not made available for comment.The Panthers (6-8) still have a very slim chance of making the playoffs — less than one percent, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com —but have lost six straight and morale is low.But that still could be enough to convince Rivera to stick with Newton another week.“Believe it or not, there’s a slim glimmer, so we’ll see,” Rivera said of the decision to start Newton on Sunday.Center Ryan Kalil said “nobody is more frustrated than Cam.”“I’ve played a long time with the guy and he takes it personal. It’s been a frustrating season, needless to say,” Kalil said.He called Newton one of the toughest players he’s ever played with.“I’ve seen the guy take hits and get his body up Eric Reid Jersey 2019 , game after game, season after season,” Kalil said. “Hits that I have seen him take other guys wouldn’t get up from. He fights through a lot of stuff.”Newton’s stats were miserable against the Saints — 16 of 29 for 131 yards for a season-low 52.5 passer rating, by far the worst of the season. He was sacked four times.If Rivera decides to sit Newton, Taylor Heinicke would get his first start.When asked what good it does to play an injured Newton with little to gain, Rivera said Tuesday, “in all intents and purposes, we play to win.” This is part two of a series looking at potential trade up scenarios for the Panthers in the NFL Draft."In part one of this two-part series I reviewed the possibilities of the Panthers trading up in the first round to obtain a pass rusher. In part two let’s look at the more likely scenario. The Panthers draft a different position in the first round at No. 16 Blue Ian Thomas Jersey , such as an offensive tackle. It would make sense wouldn’t it? In a draft heavy in defensive linemen there is a good chance a good one slips to the latter third of the first round. That would put the Panthers in range by offering the Panthers’ second round pick (No. 47) plus a second or third round pick in next year’s draft depending on how far they need to jump up into the first round. Given the number of defensive linemen with first round grades I can almost guarantee there will be a pass rusher available in the mid to late 20s. With luck a player like Clelin Ferrell or Montez Sweat could slide into the 20s. Certainly Florida defensive end Jachai Polite could be there though I hear he butchered the interview process at the combine. I admit though his tape is impressive. He is really good at getting under the tackles pads and taking the short path to the quarterback.Jaylon Ferguson had 45 sacks at Louisiana Tech in four seasons. Yes he played at the FBS level but the kid has football instincts. You just have to get past the level of competition.Zack Allen from Boston College could be a target early in the second round. I’m sure Luke Kuechly would welcome a fellow Eagle on the Panthers defense. Allen would not require an extra second round pick to move up, more like a third or maybe the Panthers third round compensatory pick.If we now flip the script and instead assume the Panthers selected a pass rusher in the first round a trade up for a tackle could be in the cards. There should be a couple good prospects that could be available late in the first round or early second. Dalton Risner, Cody Ford, or Greg Little would be good addition to the Panthers offensive line. The Panthers may find the chance to land a starting caliber tackle with a couple mid round picks too tempting to pass up.After last season’s second half meltdown general manager Marty Hurney and head coach Ron Rivera might feel the need to turn things around in a hurry. For this reason trading a future pick might not seem as risky as in past offseasons. Another seven-win season or worse and it will be the next general manager having to deal with the 2020 draft. For this reason I expect the Panthers to be active during this upcoming draft.
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