Depending on how Cam Newton’s shoulder looks leading up to Week 1, the Los Angeles Rams could have an extra advantage against the Carolina Panthers.
While the Los Angeles Rams have plenty of exciting games to look forward to during the 2019 season, the defending NFC champions realize the importance of making sure they get off to the right start in Week 1 when taking on the Carolina Panthers.
Despite the Rams representing the NFC in the Super Bowl last season while the Panthers ended up watching the playoffs from home, Los Angeles knows this meeting with Carolina on the road will be far from easy.
For starters, the Panthers will most likely be playing with a little extra motivation after turning out to be one of the biggest disappointments last year.
After jumping out to a 6-2 start, Carolina seemed to be at least a lock for a Wild Card spot in the NFC before it all fell apart the final two months when the Panthers finished 1-7 during their final eight games.
Even more embarrassing, that lone win by the Panthers didn’t even come until Week 17 when the New Orleans Saints were resting all of their starters, meaning they easily could have gone 0-8 during that span.
Only time will tell when it comes to seeing whether Carolina made the right decision in bringing back Ron Rivera for another year, but the team should be more concerned over whether Cam Newton will be ready to go for that first game when they host Los Angeles.
During the offseason, Newton underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair his throwing shoulder, and while the Panthers are playing it smart by making sure they don’t push their quarterback too much to rush back, fans did receive a positive update on Thursday.
Obviously, Newton still has a long way to go recovery wise, but the Panthers must be thrilled over this news since it’s another step in the right direction in regards to being ready to go for training camp.
Plenty can happen from now until the start of training camp, and even though Week 1 is still months away, Newton’s situation is still worth monitoring for the Rams.
Los Angeles along with every other team in the NFL knows just how much of a difference maker Newton can be when he’s in the zone on offense for the Panthers, and knowing the Rams, they’re going to assume he’s going to be ready for Week 1.
Even if Newton is unable to suit up right away to kick off the 2019 season, opening the new year on the road in Carolina will be far from easy for Los Angeles since the team is still loaded with talent beyond their quarterback that could cause additional problems for the Rams.