Patriots QB Cam Newton’s abdominal injury sounds somewhat serious.
Heading into their Week 14 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, the New England Patriots didn’t have much time to rest. It’s a short week on Thursday Night Football and it made matters worse because the injury report was fairly significant after the team’s win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Quarterback Cam Newton was one of those players on the report as he’s been dealing with an abdominal injury, but shortly before kickoff it was revealed that it’s perhaps worse than Patriots fans were led on to believe.
According to NFL insider Jay Glazer, the injury is causing Newton “an awful lot of pain,” and that could explain his putrid first-half performance. He’s just 8-of-12 for 89 yards and a pick.
He threw one of the worst interceptions you’ll ever see on a screen pass and was completely stuffed on a 4th and Goal from the two-yard line, but one could blame that on the play call. However, now that we have this injury in mind, we can’t help but think Cam was a bit hesitant to lower his shoulder and plow through the Rams’ defensive line.
Nonetheless, if this is something that’s been bothering Newton since the game against the Cardinals, then it can at least explain his really bad stretch of play since then. His performance against Arizona was the worst of his career, he proceeded to do almost nothing from a passing standpoint against the Chargers thanks to the defense and special teams, and his start on Thursday night was just about as bad as it gets (though he did rebound with a few nice throws).
It also feels like we’ve seen fewer designed runs in the open field for him. Yes, he got 14 carries against the Chargers, but a number of those came inside the 10-yard line and on short-yardage situations. He only had nine carries against the Cardinals and has six (for 13 yards) against the Rams after 30 minutes (but three of those were on scrambles).
The health of Newton is of the utmost importance since it’s clear the Patriots stand no chance with any of their backup options. As long as Josh McDaniels keeps him relatively safe and the former MVP can continue playing through the pain, the road to the playoffs will still be (somewhat) realistic.