Panthers QB Cam Newton plans to have foot surgery

Should the Redskins look to hire newly unemployed coach Ron Rivera?	
				Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton will undergo surgery on his left foot. Rivera, who guided the Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance, leaves Carolina after nine seasons in charge.

The news comes a day after the Panthers fired head coach Ron Rivera. The Panthers were hoping Newton would be back at full strength after the offseason, but the quarterback only played in two games this season.

Panthers owner David Tepper said in a statement that "I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team". "Now, it would be unlikely, but one guy I talked to said Sean Payton secretly loved Lamar Jackson in the draft and he loves that style of quarterback where you can just get creative".

League sources told ESPN and NFL Media on Wednesday that Newton is expected to have the operation this month to get back on the field in time for off-season workouts in March.

"Unfortunately at the end the injuries caught up to him a little bit, and I think now the uncertainty is going to be ironed out", Rivera said. Days before entering mediation at the Australian Federal Circuit Court on Monday, Folau had hiked his compensation claim for lost income and sponsorship from A$10 million to A$14 million (US$6.8 million to US$9.5 million), and reiterated his demand to have his contract reinstated.

Newton's injury raised speculation that his future at Carolina could be over, but Tepper said three weeks ago and reiterated Tuesday that no decision has been made and wouldn't be made until Newton was healthy. "I realize it's okay to take time".

And after a mostly sleepless night, Ron Rivera's next step is clear - he wants to coach again.

The former Auburn signal-caller met with foot specialist Robert Anderson in early November.

This season the 30-year old will have missed more games this season than in his previous eight seasons combined (five previously).

Newton aggravated the problem in the Week 2 loss to the Buccaneers.

This story will continue to be updated.

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