CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers quarterback Cam Newton took to Instagram Tuesday to react to the firing of head coach Ron Rivera.
“Will be forever grateful because of the impact you had on my life,” Newton wrote. “Thank you for giving me an opportunity. Thank you for believing in me. I can go on and on but most importantly; thank you for allowing me to be me!! This one hurt deep.”
He hasn’t played since he aggravated his Lisfranc injury when the Panthers lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 2.
Two foot specialists said that Newton should continue his healing program prescribed by Panthers medical staff and “it likely will take significant time for the injury to fully heal.”
After Rivera’s firing, secondary coach Perry Fewell was named interim head coach, the team said.
“I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team,” owner David Tepper said. “I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community. I wish him the best. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.”
Rivera was named the head coach of the Panthers in 2011. He had a 76-63-1 regular-season record and a 3-4 postseason record. He guided the Panthers to Super Bowl 50, where they lost to the Denver Broncos.
The Panthers have struggled in recent seasons, going 7-9 and missing the playoffs in 2018. To this point in 2019, the team is 5-7 and has lost four straight.