Taylor Heinicke to start in place of Cam Newton on Sunday

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Carolina is expected to sit quarterback Cam Newton for the final two games of the regular season as he continues to deal with a shoulder injury, according to ESPN.

On Tuesday morning, oddsmakers opened the Panthers as 3-point favorites over the Falcons, with the game's over/under at 47.5.

Newton finished the night with his worst statistical game of the season in nearly every category, with just 4.5 passing yards per attempt, 131 total passing yards, and a 55.2 completion percentage.

Newton finished the night with his worst statistical game of the season in nearly every category, with just 4.5 passing yards per attempt, 131 total passing yards and a 55.2 completion percentage.

"We had the opportunity to visit with the doctors, the trainers and Cam himself".

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For Atlanta, this should be an obvious message it is time to shut down their own starting quarterback. "He's disappointed. He's frustrated".

"I think that is because of the frustration of it", Rivera said. You know him; he wants to play. Heinicke has been getting a whole lot more practice reps than the average backup this season, but this will be his first start in the NFL. "We had a great conversation, he understands going forward what we have to do". Newton has been shut down with a shoulder problem.

"I wish I could say what the injury is because I don't really know what it is either", Newton told reporters.

During Carolina's six-game losing streak, Newton has thrown at least one interception in every game. He also completed one pass for the Houston Texans last season. The decision to start Heinecke in place of an injured Cam Newton is, in their minds, the best opportunity they have at walking away with a victory this Sunday.

So as a whole, it was a productive season for Newton, in spite of the issues on defense, the second-half collapse, and coaching staff woes.

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