The entire state of North Carolina held their breaths when Cam Newton had to leave this week's preseason game against the New England Patriots early because of a foot injury that later prompted the use of a walking boot.
Rather than anoint Kyle Allen or struggling rookie Will Grier the starter for Carolina's regular season opener against the Los Angeles Rams, however, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera sounds optimistic that Newton will be ready to go, as he just recently got the walking boot off.
Despite Newton standing alone among all NFL quarterbacks given his size and physical skillset, durability has been a problem for him of late, as his play towards the end of last season could be at least partially attributed to the shoulder injury that he suffered in a blowout loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Given how poor the offensive line is and their declining defense, a lot is riding on Newton's ability to create offense. If he goes down, so do the Panthers' chances of winning the NFC South division or even sneaking into the playoffs.
Cam's health is the biggest question mark the Panthers have heading into the season, and it can't be an easy feeling around that organization knowing that their season will go up in flames if Newton lands awkwardly on his arm.