Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton to undergo foot surgery

Dec. 4 (UPI) — Carolina Panthers star quarterback Cam Newton, who initially wasn’t required to have surgery, will undergo a procedure on his left foot.

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.

Newton suffered a Lisfranc injury in the Panthers’ third preseason game against the New England Patriots. He aggravated the injury in the team’s Week 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The former Auburn signal-caller met with foot specialist Robert Anderson in early November. At that time, the doctor didn’t recommend surgery.

The Panthers placed Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, on season-ending injured reserve four days later. He appeared in only two games this year and was replaced by Kyle Allen, who won his first four starts this season before losing five of his next six games.

Newton, 30, has one year remaining on his current contract with the Panthers. According to Spotrac, he is scheduled to count $21.1 million against the team’s 2020 salary cap.

Before suffering the foot injury, Newton missed only three starts in seven seasons. He previously underwent shoulder surgery in back-to-back off-seasons. If the Panthers decide to move on from the former first-round pick in the 2011 draft, the franchise would clear $19.1 million in cap space.

In two games this season, Newton completed 56.2 percent of his passes for 572 yards and one interception. He added five carries for minus-2 yards and lost two fumbles.

The Panthers (5-7) will travel to play the Atlanta Falcons (3-9) on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.