NFL: Toiday’s preview
Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 12, 2011
The NFL preview …
CHARLOTTE ó Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton was added to the teamís injury report Saturday as probable after developing stiffness in his right throwing shoulder.
A team spokesman says heís expected to play after having an MRI on Friday.
Newton took all the reps last week in practice, but developed some soreness in the arm Friday.
The Panthers host the Tennessee Titans today.
Newton, a potential NFL Rookie of the Year candidate, has been spectacular this season for the Panthers combining for 18 touchdowns, including seven on the ground. However, the Panthers are 2-6 on the season.
The Titans and Panthers made huge financial commitments this year to keep their star running backs this offseason. So far, they haven’t seen much return on their investments.
Former Pro Bowl running backs Chris Johnson and DeAngelo Williams both cashed in on past success with enormous deals and have struggled to produce for different reasons.
Williams, who signed a five-year deal worth $43 million with a $16 million signing bonus, ranks 29th in the league in rushing and is on pace to rush for 726 yards while playing in a pass-first offense. Johnson, who held out of training camp in a bitter contract dispute before signing a $53.5 million extension with $30 million guaranteed over the first three seasons, is 28th in rushing and on pace to finish with 732 yards rushing.
Together, they’ve scored two touchdowns.
It doesn’t get much uglier than that for two guys who’ve combined for five 1,000-yard seasons in the past three years.
“Anytime you’re getting paid a big contract, even if you hold out or anything like that, they’re going to expect a lot out of you,” Johnson said. “And that’s just something that comes along with the contract and being kind of the face of the team… The fans booing you, it comes along with the territory. It’s a situation where you can’t let it get to you.”
Elsewhere Sunday, with nobody on a bye, it’s Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, Baltimore at Seattle, the New York Giants at San Francisco, New Orleans at Atlanta, Detroit at Chicago, Buffalo at Dallas, Denver at Kansas City, Houston at Tampa Bay, Jacksonville at Indianapolis, Arizona at Philadelphia, Tennessee at Carolina, Washington at Miami and St. Louis at Cleveland.
On Monday night, Minnesota is at Green Bay.
The weekend began with Oakland beating San Diego 24-17 Thursday night.