Matt Rhule: Panthers will utilize Cam Newton and P.J. Walker against Washington


Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule told reporters on Friday that veteran quarterback Cam Newton, who's returned for a second act with the franchise, will start Sunday in a home matchup against the Washington Football Team.

But the 32-year-old signal-caller won't be on the field for every offensive play. According to Rhule, the Panthers' gameplan will most likely feature Newton and second-year backup P.J. Walker receiving snaps throughout the game.

"Our hope is that both guys can play, and can play at a high level," Rhule told The Zach Gelb Show on Friday. "People are always worried about playing two quarterbacks... We have a guy in P.J. who obviously can go out and play at a high level. And we have one of the great impact players in the game in Cam. So, we're trying to utilize both as best we can, so that we can take advantage of both guys' skillsets...

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The Zach Gelb Show
Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers Head Coach
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"Cam, after having been here before and gone to New England, he's come back and made it very clear to me, 'Hey, listen, I believe what you believe in.' We both believe there's a standard here, the way we're going to prepare and play. We believe winning is the most important thing. When your best players believe in preparation, practice habits, getting to the game and executing in the game, then it has a great effect on everybody else..."

Newton, who signed a one-year free agent deal with the Panthers last week, saw some action in the team's blowout road win over the Arizona Cardinals. He appeared in eight total plays, and completed 3 of 4 passes for eight yards with two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing). Newton scored the game's opening touchdown on the ground, and moments after he crossed the goal line, he celebrated by yelling "I'm back" to one of the cameramen.

Carolina (5-5) and Washington (3-6) are scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. According to FiveThirtyEight projections, the Panthers currently have a 38-percent chance to make the playoffs and a 14-percent chance to win the NFC South.

The entire Panthers conversation between Rhule and Gelb can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow The Zach Gelb Show on Twitter @ZachGelb and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.