‘Superman is back’: Cam Newton stuns with first touch upon return

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·Sports Reporter
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Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers dives into the end zone for a touchdown over Isaiah Simmons of the Arizona Cardinals in the first quarter at State Farm Stadium.
Cam Newton was involved in two touchdowns in his first two plays back in the NFL. Pic: Getty

Following a 10-week hiatus, former MVP Cam Newton made his return to the gridiron on Sunday and wasted no time showing he still belongs on an NFL field.

Newton was involved in two touchdowns on his first two plays during the Carolina Panthers 34-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

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After starting the game on the bench behind PJ Walker, Newton was called into action on the fifth play of the Panthers’ opening drive, a 2nd and goal from the 2-yard line.

Newton took the snap on what looked to be a designed quarterback run, before setting off to his right, stiff-arming a would-be tackler and bulldozing another on his way into the end zone for a touchdown.

The 32-year-old celebrated the moment by taking off his helmet, looking down the barrel of the nearest TV camera and yelling “I’m back!”

The next time Newton saw the field was on the Panthers’ next drive later in the quarter. 

With a 1st and goal from the 2-yard line, Newton once again took the snap before rolling out to his right. 

However, instead of running the ball, on this occasion Newton fired off a bullet-like pass to receiver Robby Andersen for another Panthers touchdown.

Newton finished the game with 3 completions on 4 passing attempts for 8 yards, while also having 2 carries for 8 yards rushing.

While Newton’s impact on the field was immediately visible, fans also noted the influence the former MVP was having on his Panthers teammates.

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Among Newton’s new teammates is Australian punter Lachlan Edwards, who himself only joined Carolina three weeks ago. 

Edwards had three punts for a 51-yard average, including one punt inside the opposition 20, during the upset win.

Newton spent the pre-season with the New England Patriots, but was released in favour of rookie quarterback Mac Jones on the eve of the season.

The sometimes controversial Newton, who led Carolina to a Super Bowl in 2015, remained a free agent through the first 10 weeks of the season.

However, he completed a reunion with the Panthers this week. Newton was signed as a replacement for injured starter Sam Darnold.

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule praised Newton for his performance.

“Cam came in and gave us a lot of nice plays,” Rhule said.

“He’s a total team guy. When he came into my office he told me this is all going to be about winning and that’s what it was.

“Obviously we’re excited to have Cam here. I knew he would bring that energy and he did.”

The victory improved Carolina’s record to 5-5 on the season and into third place in the NFC South, while the Cardinals still remain in first in the NFC West with an 8-2 record.

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