Website submission from Rob in Greensboro, NC: Cam vs Kyle? Who would you start against the 49ers?
You know, a lot of this stuff is starting to remind me of 2015. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison, and I'm not saying this year is bound to turn into a similar magical season, but let me explain.
Back then, it struck me how many fans focused on things other than the winning. Most of it centered on national media attention — a lack of it, or who was "hating" or just not giving enough love to the Panthers. It's like the more they won, the angrier fans got about other things while forgetting to take a second to enjoy the darn ride.
Fast forward to this week, and it's almost sad to see and hear how many fans have seemingly turned against each other. Maybe the political landscape has conditioned us to take sides and not budge an inch, but that's what's happening in too much of the fan base.
Cam vs. Kyle? Stop. It's not a thing. At least not yet.
Stepping off my soapbox …
Who will start may be a question the Panthers will eventually have to ask, but I really don't think it'll be this week. Sure, there's the whole 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it thing,' but I'm not assuming Cam Newton's return is imminent. Even if there was a report he could return to practice next week, being ready to practice and being ready to play in a game are not the same things. Especially when Newton and the team have both made it sound like they have an agreement that he won't play until he's 100 percent.
Once Newton does return to practice, I suspect he'll need some time to get in football shape, to work on timing with his wideouts and to prove to the team and himself that his foot is completely healed. Odds are all that won't happen in those few practices ahead of the trip to San Francisco.
Stepping back on my soapbox …
All this could eventually sort itself out naturally, or maybe there will come a time when the Panthers have a tough call to make. I just don't think that's today, so perhaps it's best to stop the in-fighting and start enjoying the fact your team is one of the hottest in the NFL.
Website submission from Evan in Nashville, TN: When both are healthy why not start Allen and sub in Newton? Some NFL, maybe more college teams sub QB's.
I thought this question was a bit out there. And then I got a similar one …
Website submission from Dinger Josh in Berlin, Germany: When Cam Newton returns and most likely will be the starting QB, would it be possible two see both QBs on the field? Kinda like the Saints did last year with Drew Brees and Taysom Hill.
No. Just no.
Website submission from Juan in Buenos Aires, Argentina: Hey Bill! Has there been another undrafted QB since the start of the Super Bowl Era (other than Kyle Allen) to start their career 5-0 as a starter? If so, how many more games does he need to break such record? Absolutely love what you do! Greetings from Argentina and #KeepPounding
Kurt Warner won his first six games with the Rams in 1999. He's second to Dieter Brock, who was also with the Rams. As you surely remember, Brock began his career 7-0.
I can't take credit for looking that stuff up. That's all @pantherstatsguy.
@tybrjo Daley and little have both played well at left tackle. How will the coaching staff handle the position when both return healthy again?
Don't think they know yet, and they'll be content to wait until Little exits the concussion protocol before deciding. Having multiple left tackle options is a luxury the Panthers haven't had in how long?
Actually, name the last time they've had so many potential starters on the offensive line this late in a season. Can you? I can't.
You've got a good situation developing at tackle, and at guard, Daryl Williams would sure be some nice depth once Trai Turner returns from his ankle injury.
@youngandwrcklss Have the silver pants been officially removed from being warn on game days?
I don't usually cover the uniform beat, but I'll get out of my lane to give you this bit of breaking news:
The Panthers will be back in the silver pants in San Francisco. It'll be their first time wearing them since 2017. So for those of you who geek out on this sort of thing, you can look forward to a black top/silver britches combo against the 49ers.
@jordanisthe3 Best restaurant you had in London?
Had to get in my Nando's and Wagamama fix but didn't dine at any place fancy. Favorite stop was with a British buddy, who got us into the members' club at The Ned, where we were joined by a former English Premier League goalkeeper and some other high-rollers. That was unusually sophisticated for me.
Website submission from Joseph in Flat Rock, NC: It looks like Vernon Butler is stepping up. What do you attribute this to?
Well, he has an opportunity that he's taking advantage of with Kawann Short out for the year. But from a technical standpoint, what Butler is doing best is finally using violent hands. It's something he's struggled to do consistently since he was drafted, and it appears that part of his light bulb is switched on.
Website submission from Christian in Washington, DC: Hey bill, What is the timetable for Donte Jackson to return?
You know how we often say, "Barring a setback, so and so will play"? Jackson was set to play last week until he suffered a setback to his sore groin in Friday's practice. He tried to loosen it up pregame, but as teams tend to do with soft tissue injuries, the Panthers played it safe. By giving him two more weeks, they hope he'll be ready for the 49ers. So barring a setback …
@IsaacNH24 Wife & I are comin down for Titans game Nov 3. Our first home game. Riot tailgate? What else? Good eats? Any room at your house?
Sure. Or you could go inside the Atrium Dome.
Appreciate how much warmer it'll be here than in New Hampshire.
Website submission from Robert in Duncan, SC: Since some players can come back from IR now, is there anyone you think may come back at end of season? Is it possible for KK or is his injury too severe/won't heal in time?
Chris Hogan is the only real option, and he won't be eligible until Week 14. Short's shoulder surgery means he won't be back on the field until next year.
Website submission from Taylor in Mebane, NC: If you had a time machine and could bring back any three former Panthers to put on this roster regardless of position, who would you choose?
This is such a great question.
1.) Steve Smith – because, of course.
2.) Kevin Greene – because as good as the pass rush has been, can you imagine him in these odd-man fronts?
3.) Michael Bates – because of the need at returner.
@LukeandTara Who's the return man?
This came in before the Panthers signed Greg Dortch off the Jets’ practice squad. Obviously, he's a strong candidate to take over for Ray-Ray McCloud, but Dortch is a rookie who's never had a return in an NFL regular-season game. He needs some practice time to make them comfortable, so I wouldn't yet assume he'll be the return man at San Francisco. If he's not, I'm not sure who it'll be, but I don't think you'll see them try to use the likes of Christian McCaffrey, Curtis Samuel or DJ Moore. Bates probably isn't an option, either.
@sadpanthersfan_ I knew what I wanted to ask yesterday and forgot…