Punch Drunk Wonderland

Cam Newton likely out for Week 15, Now What?

Football is a dangerous sport. Players always know injury is part of the game, and events can occur at practice or in games that could end it all at a moments notice. That constant “on the job” danger sometimes allows us to forget that accidents can happen anywhere. Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are feeling that right now. News broke on Tuesday that the Panthers quarterback was in a fairly serious car accident that sent him to the hospital. Early reports indicated that he was uninjured and the hospital trip was precautionary. Later the news changed.



A transverse process fracture is a troublesome injury for football players. The transverse process are small bones on each side of the vertebrae that act as a point of attachment for muscles and ligaments. Think of them as wing-shaped clips that help stabilize the vertebrae and connective tissues around them. The major issue with a transverse process fracture is that the small bones often can’t fully heal and can result in prolonged and ongoing pain. That’s no good.

What does this mean for Cam Newton? Time will tell. Other quarterbacks such as Tony Romo have played through the pain of this type of injury after missing minimal play time. As for Cam’s Week 15 status, he’s officially listed as questionable. However, it seems very likely that he will miss some time. If Newton doesn’t start in Week 15 against Tampa Bay, that means backup QB Derek Andreson will get his second start of the 2014 season. Ironically, Anderson’s previous start was against the Buccaneers.

Fantasy Focus: We’re certainly glad Cam wasn’t seriously injured in what looked to be a scary crash. That said, the timing couldn’t be worse in terms of fantasy football relevance. Many fantasy owners (myself included) are in the midst of their fantasy playoffs and this means Newton owners are looking elsewhere at the most important time of the fantasy season. Cam will likely miss at least one week, and possibly more. Looking at Week 15, you could think about starting Derek Anderson versus the Bucs. His previous encounter with them this season went well as he threw for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns. The matchup is good, so it wouldn’t be so bad of a play. Some other options to consider:

Jake Locker (QB, Tennessee Titans) vs. New York Jets: Mattenberger is likely out for Week 15, so Locker should get the start. The Jets are 29th in the league in terms of giving up fantasy points to QBs. He’s available in almost all leagues, and could be a sneaky play.

Blake Bortles (QB, Jacksonville Jaguars) vs. Baltimore Ravens: I know. We’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Bortles has a decent matchup versus the Ravens in Week 15 and he’s available in most leagues.

Kyle Orton (QB, Buffalo Bills) vs. Green Bay Packers: Orton has been up and down in his starting time this season, but he certainly has potential to occasionally put up nice performances. He’s available in over 90% of ESPN leagues and the matchup against Green Bay in Week 15 isn’t a bad one. The Packers are giving up the eighth most fantasy points to QBs this season.

K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...