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Cam Newton may not play against the Buccaneers

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton’s status for next week’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is up in the air. The Carolina Panthers quarterback suffered a concussion against the Atlanta Falcons yesterday, and he’ll have to pass a concussion protocol to get back on the field. According to ESPN’s David Newton, the Panthers don’t know whether he’ll recover in time for next Monday night’s game.

That’s bad for Newton, who’s been hit a lot this season and whose team has struggled to win games after appearing in the Super Bowl in February — the Panthers are just 1-3, the same record as the Buccaneers.

If Newton can’t suit up next Monday, Derek Anderson will take over. Ordinarily, facing a backup quarterback would be good news for Tampa Bay, but it’s been quite some time since the Bucs actually really took advantage of a backup quarterback. The last time they faced Derek Anderson was at the start of the 2014 season, when Cam Newton was out with injury. The Panthers won that game 20-14.

In fact, backup quarterbacks have been an issue for the Bucs for years now. They just lost to the Denver Broncos despite backup Paxton Lynch having to play most of the game. They also could not beat Matt Hasselbeck filling in for Andrew Luck, though they did beat Mark Sanchez filling in for Sam Bradford, both of those game coming last year.