During the Carolina Panthers' third preseason game against the New England Patriots, quarterback Cam Newton exited the game with a left foot injury, and was later seen leaving the stadium in a walking boot.
While some reports, including one from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, suggest the injury is not serious, Newton's status for Week 1 is currently up in the air. Even if Cam is able to suit up, he is shaping up to be one of the bigger injury risks at QB for the upcoming season, considering he missed the final two games last year with a shoulder injury that required offseason surgery.
To make matters worse, the Panthers have one of the shakier backup QB situations in the league. Kyle Allen and Will Grier, who are competing for the No. 2 spot, own two of the four lowest yards-per-attempt (YPA) marks of any QB who has thrown at least 25 passes this preseason, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
Having said that, here are three names the Panthers can consider for an emergency QB, heading into the 2019 season.
3. Sam Bradford
Many people forget that Sam Bradford somehow convinced the Arizona Cardinals to sign him to a one-year deal heading into the 2018 season, which included $15 million guaranteed. Bradford went on to make two starts, turning the ball over six times, and was ultimately yanked for rookie Josh Rosen before Week 3. Bradford was released by the Cardinals in November of last year, and has remained without a team ever since. Despite his recent shortcomings, Bradford is a veteran QB who, for a brief time, held the NFL single-season completion percentage record (before Drew Brees broke it twice in back-to-back seasons). His accurate checkdowns could actually pair nicely with yards-after-the catch monsters like Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel.
2. Brock Osweiler
The current free agent QB landscape is not pretty overall, which brings us to one if its top remaining options, Brock Osweiler. Serving as Ryan Tannehill's backup last season in Miami, Osweiler ended up starting five games and posted a respectable 63.5 completion percentage and 7.0 yards per attempt (YPA). Still, it wasn't enough for him to latch on anywhere else as backup this season. While he matches Newton in stature at 6'7", 240 pounds, Osweiler is fairly immobile and might not be the best fit for Carolina's offense. Still, he is arguably better than either of the Panthers' current backups, and may find his way on some NFL roster before the season is over.
1. Colin Kaeapernick
Having last played in the NFL back in 2016, Colin Kaepernick still has a desire to play football again, having posted a workout video on Twitter in early August with a caption that included "still ready." Following Cam's injury, Kaepernick's former teammate, and current Panther Eric Reid, supported the notion of Carolina making a move for the polarizing QB, only if Newton's injury causes him to miss games. While Kaepernick seems open to a return, there is the debate over whether the league has blackballed him from returning, following his controversial kneeling protest that Reid also partook in. While he is a long shot to come back this season, it'll be interesting to see what happens if Kaepernick persists on his quest for an NFL comeback.
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