LONDON -- Eventually, the Carolina Panthers will have to make a difficult decision.
Their starting quarterback Cam Newton -- you know, the former NFL MVP? -- has missed the last four games while recovering from a Lisfranc injury in his left foot. He played practically on one leg in Carolina's first two games this season, a pair of close losses, and then realized it was better in the long-term to just take the time to get healthy.
And this must be mentioned: Dating back to 2018, when Newton's shoulder problems reduced him to a shell of himself, he has lost his last eight games as a starter.
Since Newton went out, undrafted second-year stand-in Kyle Allen has taken the reins at quarterback. All he's done since then?
Win four straight games -- three of them on the road, including Sunday's 37-26 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London -- without throwing a single interception. Including his Week 17 win over the Saints last season, Allen is now the first quarterback in NFL history to win his first five starts without tossing a pick.
So when Newton comes back, what do you do: Stick with the hot hand, at the risk of alienating your locker room, or go back to your longtime starter ... also at the risk of alienating your locker room?
A tough decision, indeed.
"I'm not going to worry, speculate on anything until I have to address that. Until then, we're going to stay in the now, focus on what we're doing right now," coach Ron Rivera said postgame Sunday.
"As far as I'm concerned, we're just not going to deal with the question until it's time."
Fine. Pundits can debate all they like. There are arguments to be made on both sides.