Scottsdale’s Kyle Allen next man up if Newton is out against Cardinals
TEMPE, Ariz. — To put it lightly, it was a rough week for quarterbacks.
Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger went down with injuries, while Eli Manning has been relegated to riding the pine in favor of rookie Daniel Jones.
Adding to the signal-caller downfall was Carolina Panthers starting QB Cam Newton, who re-aggravated a foot injury Thursday night and has yet to practice.
The Cardinals may have dodged some bullets, however, as each of those teams face Arizona at some point in 2019, starting with the Panthers in Week 3.
The jury’s still out as to whether or not Carolina’s quarterback will play, although it’s feeling like Newton won’t suit up as the week progresses.
But there is one known fact.
If he can’t go, backup QB Kyle Allen gets the nod.
The worlds collide for the undrafted quarterback, who spent his high school days at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale.
During his three seasons on varsity, Allen tallied 8,201 passing yards and 86 touchdowns.
From there, he went to to Texas A&M, where he and Kyler Murray were teammates, and eventually ended up at the University of Houston.
It also marks a familiar face for head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
“I recruited Kyle briefly,” Kingsbury said of the potential starting QB. “He was the No. 1 prospect in the country, so he probably threw all the letters away and red buttoned me every time I called him but I remember watching him. He was very, very talented. He played for one my good friends at Texas A&M and they speak very highly of him.
“And then it was great to see him last year when he played his tail off in that game in New Orleans. I’ve always had a very high regard for him as a player.”
While it’s certainly a small sample size, Allen showed he can make plays at the NFL level in 2018.
After completing all four of his throws in limited action in a Week 15 loss to Atlanta, Allen was given the reins in Week 16, making his first career start on the road against division rival New Orleans Saints.
Scoring on each of their first four possessions, Allen proved he could move the offense down the field. All told, the signal caller threw for 228 yards and two scores — highlighted by a 53-yard strike to Curtis Samuel — on 16 of 27 passing, earning a 111.3 QBR. He also found pay dirt in the running game, adding 19 yards and touchdown on five carries.
Oh yeah, Allen didn’t play the full game, either, as he was knocked out with a shoulder injury early in the fourth quarter.
“Kyle’s played with a tremendous amount of poise. He’s a good arm, quick decision-maker and has a firm handle of what we’re doing,” Carolina head coach Ron Rivera told Arizona media Wednesday. “This is his second year in doing what we’re doing and he seems to handle it pretty well.”
Allen can produce through the air, but isn’t typically known for his running abilities. In college, Allen rushed 105 times for just 132 yards and three scores.
That bodes well for a Cardinals team who was just burned for 120 yards on 16 attempts by Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson.
While Christian McCaffrey is still in the mix and should be called upon more, the Cardinals can put their primary focus on limiting Allen’s effectiveness through the air, not having to leave a spy to account for a more mobile quarterback.
If Newton can’t go, the Cardinals are presented with a golden opportunity to secure their first victory of the season. It’s still on them, however, to seize the moment.