He proclaimed he was back following his debut and everything was going great as the Panthers got to 5-5.
The team is now 5-8 and desperately clinging to hopes of getting the seventh and final playoff spot in the NFC.
That has led head coach Matt Rhule to go with an interesting strategy of using a platoon system at quarterback.
Of course, going with two quarterbacks usually means you don’t have one good option to begin with.
The platoon features Newton and P.J. Walker and the latter spoke on the difficulty of this system when speaking with the media Wednesday.
P.J. Walker acknowledged that using a 2-QB system makes establishing a rhythm difficult. Added, “this is one of the more crazy seasons that I have been a part of.”
— Ellis L. Williams (@BookofEllis) December 15, 2021
Maybe Rhule needs to sit in on these press conferences so his own players can tell him his system isn’t working.
A New Wrinkle
Not only are Newton and Walker splitting reps, but Sam Darnold has just been designated to return from injured reserve.
Panthers designated QB Sam Darnold to return from IR.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 15, 2021
Remember, Darnold was the starter to open the season before going down with an injury and leaving the door open for the team to sign Newton.
Could he get his old job back?
He might just do that if Rhule doesn’t see Newton or Walker as a true starting option.
Darnold is also under contract with the Panthers next season with his fifth-year option.
No one would be frustrated if the Panthers were playing multiple quarterbacks and still winning games.
But they are already without Christian McCaffrey and may realistically put Darnold back in the starting lineup.
All of this could also come with the team blowing a perfectly good opportunity to reach the postseason in a year when nearly every NFL team is still alive in the race late in the year.
That may be the final straw for fans trying to get behind this team led by Rhule.NEXT: Panthers HC Matt Rhule Reveals QB Plan Moving Forward