Carolina Panthers player Cam Newton's new vegan diet blamed for his poor performance and slow recovery from injury
Speculations are rife that Carolina Panther's quarterback, Cam Newton's switch to a vegan diet may be impacting his performance and his ability to recover from injury. This comes after his announcement of "taking time away from the game".
According to a report by Daily Mail, Newton released a 15-minute video on Friday, September 27, stating that he suffered a mid-foot sprain in the third preseason game against the New England Patriots. He also said that he had hidden the injury from his team.
The clip sees him holding a cigar and a glass of wine. "It could very well be a week. Or two weeks. It could be three weeks, it could be four weeks, it could be six weeks." he said.
"But I have to understand and know if it takes that time I trust in this team that they will, we will still be in a great situation by the time I get back." The video, however, didn't see him address the speculations.
The 2015 NFL MVP admitted to not informing head coach Ron Rivera about his injury. "I was hiding an injury where I could have easily said 'You know what, Coach, I don't think I'm ready. Maybe I need to kind of consider sitting this one out for the betterment [of the team]'," Newton said.
He added that he told some on the coaching staff that he was fine even after they asked if was healthy. "Because, automatically, I thought, 'I've got to play Week 1. I can't let my fans down. I've got to be there for my team'."
According to a USA Today report, Newton also said: "I’ve decided that I will take time away from the game," he said. "This is me being a bigger person and being real with myself and saying 'Look, what’s the ultimate goal you want to accomplish?'."
It has been a dismal performance by Newton in his two starts this season. The quarterback switched to a pescatarian diet in February which excludes all meat and dairy products. However, it does include fish and all vegan sources of food.
In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Chris Howard, a certified strength and conditioning coach and nutritionist, said Salmon and shrimp contain a lot of good fats and complete sources of protein.
"In fact, (fish) is one of the best protein sources there is," he said. "Go back to 2015 Cam, badass Cam. He was a pescatarian," he added.
"Now you take away the most valuable part of that (diet), and... there's just no way around it: He can't recover as well with less nutrients, with less calories, and with less muscle mass. It's just not going to happen," Howard continued.
Meanwhile, Kyle Allen has replaced Newton in the lineup and led the Panthers to a 38-20 win over Arizona last Sunday in Week 3. It also looks like he'll remain in the lineup and get a few more games under his belt.
Newton completed 56.2 percent of his passes for 572 yards. He hasn't thrown a touchdown pass in 89 pass attempts. The player has two years left on his five-year contract extension.