Cam Newton will make his first start of the 2021 NFL season when the Carolina Panthers host the Washington Football Team on Sunday.
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said Friday that Newton "will take the first snap" for the Week 11 matchup. P.J. Walker, who had taken over as Carolina's signal-caller since Sam Darnold's injury, will still have a role.
"We have plays for Cam, plays for P.J.," Rhule said. "P.J. we think is an excellent quarterback, Cam can make a difference, so we'll use both of them."
Newton made his season debut last Sunday in the Panthers' 34-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals. The ex-New England Patriots QB scored a rushing touchdown on his first snap of the game and added a TD pass on his second. Walker handled most of the work under center, completing 22 of his 29 passes for 167 yards and one interception.
Newton's first start of the year will come against his former head coach in Carolina, Ron Rivera. The 2015 NFL MVP downplayed that intriguing storyline heading into the weekend.
“Man, it’s not about us,” Newton said. “It’s not about him. It’s not about me. He knows how I feel about him, and he knows what it’s going to be on Sunday.”
Panthers-WFT is set for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff at Bank of America Stadium.