Panthers owner suggests Andrew Luck-style year off could be best for Cam Newton's shoulder injury

Cam Newton’s season ended with the Carolina Panthers quarterback on the bench with a shoulder injury after a miserable stretch of games. Now, the Panthers’ owner seems to think the 29-year-old could use much, much more time off.

Principal owner David Tepper spoke with reporters Tuesday about the possibility of Newton resting or undergoing a second shoulder surgery. When the example of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck’s year off and incredible return was brought up, Tepper didn’t seem to think of that as a worst-case scenario.

From ESPN:

Asked to compare Newton’s situation with that of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, owner David Tepper said Tuesday, “If you told me he took a year off and could recover and be fully recovered and everything else, and that’s what it took, an extra year, why wouldn’t you do [that]?”

“Now we would have to do other things, right? We’d have to go out and get another quarterback. If you could find me some more cap space I’d appreciate that.”

To be clear, Tepper is not saying Newton will be taking the 2019 season off or is in danger of taking the 2019 season off. He’s simply noting that Newton taking a year off would be a reasonable price for assuring the franchise quarterback returns at full strength, especially considering what Newton’s shoulder has already gone through.

Cam Newton’s history with shoulder injuries

Newton’s shoulder woes first popped up during a rough 2017 season, which led to him undergoing rotator cuff surgery after previously trying to avoid going under the knife.

Newton seemed to recover well and was ready to return by Week 1, posting a 100.8 passer rating in his first eight games of the season that would have been a career-high. The Panthers went 6-2 in those games.

Then, Newton’s performance fell off a cliff. He went from a 15-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his first eight games to 9-to-9 in his final six, a span of time in which the Panthers were winless. Opponents stopped worrying about covering the deep ball. By Week 16, the Panthers had seen enough, shutting the quarterback down for the team’s final two games.

Now, Newton’s status is clearly in a state of limbo as the team tries to figure out what to do with a player who clearly wasn’t 100 percent despite a previous surgery.

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Cam Newton through his career
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Cam Newton through his career
Auburn quarterback Cam Newton helps fire up his team prior to the start of the fourth quarter against Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Friday, November 26, 2010. The energy served his team well as Auburn rallied to defeat Alabama, 28-27. (Photo by Robin Trimarchi/Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/MCT via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: 2010 Heisman Trophy candidate Cam Newton of the Auburn University Tigers speaks at a press conference at The New York Marriott Marquis on December 11, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Quarterback Cam Newton of the Auburn University Tigers speaks after being named the 76th Heisman Memorial Trophy Award winner at the Best Buy Theater on December 11, 2010 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: Photographer approval needed for all Commercial License requests. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Getty Images for The Heisman)
NEW YORK , NY - DECEMBER 12: ( L- R ) Bo Jackson (1985), Cam Newton (2010) and Pat Sullivan (1971) the three Heisman Trophy winners from the Auburn University Tigers pose during a portrait session on December 12, 2010 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: Photographer approval needed for all Commercial License requests. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Getty Images for the Heisman)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Cam Newton passes the ball during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - CIRCA 2011: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Carolina Panthers quarterbacks Derek Anderson, left, and rookie Cam Newton stand on the sideline during the first quarter against the New York Giants at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, Saturday, August 13, 2011. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) looks downfield for a pass in their game on Sunday, November 27, 2011, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Panthers won the game 27-19. (Sam Riche/MCT via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 11: Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers meets Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons after the game at Bank of America Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Falcons defeated the Panthers 31 to 23. (Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)
Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton - January 2012. Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Smarter, Younger - Today's athletes are the sports they play continue to evolve at an extraordinary rate - which means 2012 ought to be unlike anything you've seen before (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 04: Professional Football Player Cam Newton speaks during the 2012 NFL Honors at the Murat Theatre on February 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton answers questions from the media following the team's game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, October 7, 2012, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Seahawks won, 16-12. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
Carolina Panthersquarterback Cam Newton grimaces as his left ankle is tended to by team personnel following an injury in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, Sunday, December 30, 2012. The Panthers defeated the Saints, 44-38. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 09: Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers takes the field before a preseason NFL game against Chicago Bears at Bank of America Stadium on August 9, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 24-17. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 22: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers stands on the sidelines with his trademark Gatorade towel during the final minute of a win over the New York Giants during play at Bank of America Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 38-0. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 20: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 20, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 18: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers warms up for a game against the New England Patriots at Bank of America Stadium on November 18, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 24-20. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 18: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates with fans after the game against the New England Patriots at Bank of America Stadium on November 18, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 12: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after a touchdown pass to Steve Smith #89 in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Bank of America Stadium on January 12, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Cam Newton rings the closing bell at New York Stock Exchange on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Zak Photography/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 15: NFL player Cam Newton attends Cartoon Network's Hall of Game Awards at Barker Hangar on February 15, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers makes his entrance against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game at Bank of America Stadium on September 21, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 20: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 20, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 04: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs across the field after the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 4, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 02: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers takes the field before their game against the Indianapolis Colts at Bank of America Stadium on November 2, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Nov 17, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) and tight end Greg Olsen (88) celebrate a touchdown pass against the Green Bay Packers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory credit: Jim Matthews-USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisonsin
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Why Andrew Luck’s story is enticing

Luck was in a similar position to Newton last year, and probably an even worse position if we’re being frank.

First, Luck played through a torn labrum in 2015, then he missed the second half of the season with an abdominal tear and kidney laceration. He also suffered an AC joint injury in his throwing shoulder from a snowboarding accident. That might have been a point when the Colts could have pressed pause on their franchise quarterback, but they instead had him play 15 games in 2016 before it was determined that his shoulder injury needed surgery, causing him to miss the entire 2017 season.

Luck conceded that mistakes were made during his saga of injuries, but those mistakes didn’t stop him from coming back in 2018 and leading the Colts to the playoffs while throwing for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns in maybe the best season of his career.

As far as injury stories go, Luck’s is extraordinary. But that’s just it: It was extraordinary, and not something teams and fans should probably plan to replicate. That Luck returned better than ever certainly makes such a year off enticing, but it might be rash to treat the long break as the cause of his resurgence and not just evidence of the medical struggle the quarterback had to go through to reach this point.

There were times when it was in question whether or not Luck would ever make it back to an NFL field. To view the Panthers as needing to have Newton undergo a similar trajectory would require Newton to be in truly dire straits.

74 PHOTOS
The best photos from the 2018 NFL season
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The best photos from the 2018 NFL season
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) can't make the catch against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 16: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants fumbles the ball as he is wrapped up by Kamalei Correa #44 of the Tennessee Titans during the second half at MetLife Stadium on December 16, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - DECEMBER 13: Cornerback Kendall Fuller #23 of the Kansas City Chiefs breaks up a pass intended for wide receiver Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 13, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 10: Shaquill Griffin #26 of the Seattle Seahawks breaks up a catch by Stefon Diggs #14 of the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field on December 10, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 09: Darius Slay #23 of the Detroit Lions catches the ball intended for Trent Sherfield #16 of the Arizona Cardinals then runs the ball 67 yards for a touchdown in the second half of NFL game at State Farm Stadium on December 09, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 09: Running back Doug Martin #28 of the Oakland Raiders dives for and scores a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum on December 9, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints' Michael Thomas (13) and Carolina Panthers' James Bradberry (24) grab each other's face masks in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, is hit after passing by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner, right, and linebacker Elijah Lee, bottom, during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) is sacked by Atlanta Falcons defensive end Bruce Irvin (52) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake (32) runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Patriots 34-33. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Breshad Perriman make a touchdown catch as Denver Broncos defensive back Tramaine Brock (22) and defensive back Dymonte Thomas (35) defend during the first half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Kansas City Chiefs corner back Kendall Fuller, lower right, is called for pass interference against Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. The call gave the Chargers a first-and-goal on the one-yard-line. The Los Angeles Chargers won 29-28. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 02: Zach Cunningham #41 of the Houston Texans intercepts Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns for a touchdown in the second quarter at NRG Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 02: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants leaps over Adrian Amos #38 of the Chicago Bears for extra yardage during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 02, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 25: Trae Waynes #26 of the Minnesota Vikings breaks up a pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling #83 of the Green Bay Packers in the first quarter of the game at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: Carlos Hyde #34 of the Jacksonville Jaguars grabs the face mask of Star Lotulelei #98 of the Buffalo Bills as both teams scuffle during the third quarter at New Era Field on November 25, 2018 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo defeats Jacksonville 24-21. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 25: Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins runs for a touchdown in the game against the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 25: Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders #10 of the Denver Broncos leads a celebration in the end zone after a second quarter Denver Broncos touchdown catch by tight end Matt LaCosse #83 during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on November 25, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 25: Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots stiff arms Darryl Roberts #27 of the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium on November 25, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - NOVEMBER 25: Arizona Cardinals walk out to the field ahead of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center on November 25, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 25: Denzel Ward #21 of the Cleveland Browns attempts to tackle Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the third quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 25: The New York Jets take the field prior to the game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on November 25, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 25: Chris Carson #32 of the Seattle Seahawks runs the ball against Eric Reid #25 and Thomas Davis #58 of the Carolina Panthers in the third quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 25: Nick Chubb #24 of the Cleveland Browns catches a pass for a touchdown over the defense of Brandon Wilson #40 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the second quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Quarterback Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates his touchdown on a seven yard rush by dunking the football between the goal posts during the third quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 19, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 18: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers dives for the go-ahead touchdown during the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on November 18, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 18: Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons reacts after pulling in a touchdown reception against the Dallas Cowboys at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 18, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 18: Vance McDonald #89 of the Pittsburgh Steelers catches an 11-yard reception for a touchdown over Telvin Smith #50 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth quarter on November 18, 2018 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Steelers won 20-16. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 11: Austin Hooper #81 of the Atlanta Falcons flies through the air after being tackled by Jamie Collins #51 of the Cleveland Browns in the first half at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 11, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - NOVEMBER 04: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass the ball as his jersey is grabbed by Lawrence Guy #93 of the New England Patriots during the second half at Gillette Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 04: Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers attempts to make a catch while being guarded by Shaquill Griffin #26 of the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter at CenturyLink Field on November 04, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 04: Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Carlton Davis #33 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 25: DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans catches a pass defended by Xavien Howard #25 of the Miami Dolphins in the third quarter at NRG Stadium on October 25, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 21: Chandler Catanzaro #7 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicks the game winning field goal in overtime during a game against the Cleveland Browns at Raymond James Stadium on October 21, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: Denzel Perryman #52 of the Los Angeles Chargers helmut comes off after he tackles Dion Lewis #33 of the Tennessee Titans during the NFL International Series game between Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Chargers at Wembley Stadium on October 21, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 18: Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders #10 of the Denver Broncos flips in to the end zone after catching a 64-yard pass during the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on October 18, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 14: Danny Amendola #80 of the Miami Dolphins is flipped by Leonard Floyd #94 and Roquan Smith #58 of the Chicago Bears in the first quarter of the game at Hard Rock Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 07: James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers dives into the end zone for a 1 yard touchdown in the first quarter during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Heinz Field on October 7, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 04: Eric Ebron #85 of the Indianapolis Colts is tackled by Patrick Chung #23 and Dont'a Hightower #54 of the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium on October 4, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 30: Wide receiver Chad Williams #10 of the Arizona Cardinals falls out of bounds during the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 30: Nyheim Hines #21 of the Indianapolis Colts catches the ball in the 3rd quarter against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams (16) makes a catch over Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Coty Sensabaugh (24) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods, defended by Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay (23), makes a catch during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey (22) avoids the tackle of Seattle Seahawks' Tedric Thompson (33) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette, top, dives over the Pittsburgh Steelers defense, including Jordan Dangerfield (37) and Anthony Chickillo (56), to score a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Miami Dolphins' Reshad Jones stops Green Bay Packers' Lance Kendricks during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) sits on the turf after being sacked by the Tennessee Titans in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (23) fumbles the football as Houston Texans strong safety Justin Reid (20) looks on during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in Denver. Reid recovered the ball. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Justin Evans (21) grabs the face mask of Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) in the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) dives for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) runs for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens' Terrell Suggs (55) in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki (86) leaps over Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (23), during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
Cleveland Browns defensive back Damarious Randall (23) attempts to tackle Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (28) in the second half during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Seattle Seahawks running back Mike Davis (27), left, escapes the clutches of Oakland Raiders linebacker Tahir Whitehead (59) during the first half of an NFL football game at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates after he broke the NFL all-time passing yards record in the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in New Orleans, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Minnesota Vikings' Adam Thielen (19) catches a touchdown against Philadelphia Eagles' Ronald Darby (21) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) is tackled by Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith (50) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Carolina Panthers' Colin Jones (42) recovers a New York Giants fumble in the end zone for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, left, is hit by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston, right, after throwing a pass during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) can't make the catch as Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Orlando Scandrick (22) breaks up the pass during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, left, tackles Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, left, runs to celebrate with tight end Ryan Hewitt (45) after they teamed up on a 1-yard touchdown pass against the Tennessee Titans in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku, left, is unable to hold onto a catch on a pass attempt as he is pressured by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey in the end zone in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, left, makes a leaping catch just outside the end zone as Denver Broncos defensive back Tramaine Brock (22) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jeff Driskel, bottom, loses the ball as he is hit by Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) and linebacker L.J. Fort (54) in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Pittsburgh. Driskel recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward (35) breaks up a pass intended for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jordy Nelson (82) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) pulls in a 5-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Mohamed Sanu during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) runs against Denver Broncos outside linebacker Bradley Chubb during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton (80) falls forward in front of San Francisco 49ers cornerback D.J. Reed Jr. during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) is stopped on a run by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis (27) and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (99) in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Green Bay Packers' J'Mon Moore (82) is tackled by New York Jets kicker Jason Myers, bottom, while trying to return a kickoff by Myers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 23: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots dives for the end zone to score a 32-yard receiving touchdown during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 23: Jalen Tolliver #17 of the Arizona Cardinals reaches for a pass in front of Aqib Talib #21 of the Los Angeles Rams in the first half at State Farm Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 23: Ryan Grant #11 of the Indianapolis Colts attempts to catch a pass in the game against Janoris Jenkins #20 of the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Who could replace Cam Newton if he misses 2019?

If the Panthers indeed decide to have Newton sit out for some, if not all, of the 2019 season, the team would obviously need a quarterback to fill the gap.

The Charlotte Observer reports that backup QB Kyle Allen’s strong start in Week 17 has the Panthers considering him as one of Newton’s fill-ins, though Nick Foles, Joe Flacco and Ryan Fitzpatrick are also mentioned as potential veteran stopgaps.

Then again, the Colts ended up with All-Pro rookies Quinton Nelson and Darius Leonard after going 4-12 in a 2017 season in which they clearly missed Luck. Those two players played key roles in the Colts’ resurgence behind Luck and beyond, but again, expecting to replicate the Colts’ success in the last year is probably an unrealistic endeavor.

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