CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers will be counting on second-year quarterback Kyle Allen to help them climb out of an 0-2 hole to start the season.
Allen was named Carolina's starter for Sunday's game at Arizona after Cam Newton was ruled out with a mid-foot sprain. It will be the second career start for Allen, an Arizona native.
"He worked through a lot of the soreness this week and felt pretty good at the end of the week," Rivera said on a conference call Friday. "... The one thing we don't want to do is have another setback. So we want to make sure he is ready to roll and his foot can handle it."
Rivera said Newton will not travel with the team to Arizona but will instead remain behind in Charlotte to receive treatment.
The coach said Newton is "day-to-day," leaving his status unclear for Week 4.
Newton aggravated his left foot in Carolina's 20-14 loss to the Buccaneers on Sept. 12 and has not practiced since. It will be only the sixth game the 2015 league MVP has missed during his nine-year NFL career due to injury.
Allen is 1-0 as Carolina's starter, winning last year in Week 17 at New Orleans.
He joined the Panthers as an undrafted rookie last season but didn't make the final 53-man roster.
The former Houston Cougars QB was re-signed to the practice and later elevated to the regular roster. He was pressed into duty in the season finale due to injuries to Newton and backup Taylor Heinicke and accounted for three touchdowns in a 33-14 rout of the playoff-bound Saints.
The Panthers have other injury concerns too, most notably at defensive tackle where two-time Pro Bowler Kawann Short is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. Short will be evaluated on Sunday and Rivera said the team is "cautiously optimistic" he will play. If he doesn't, Vernon Butler will get the start.
Also, outside linebacker Bruce Irvin (hamstring), defensive back Rashaan Gaulden (groin) and guard Brandon Greene (neck) have been rule out for Sunday.
Tight end Greg Olsen (back) is listed as questionable but is expected to play.