Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers bench Cam Newton – for one play – vs. Seahawks

Cam Newton violates Panthers dress code

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton did not start in Carolina's 40-7 loss to the Seahawks because he did not wear a tie on the team plane to Seattle.
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Panthers quarterback Cam Newton did not start in Carolina's 40-7 loss to the Seahawks because he did not wear a tie on the team plane to Seattle.

Carolina Panthers quarterback and reigning league MVP Cam Newton was benched for the start of Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks for disciplinary reasons, a team source confirmed.

It was the first time in Newton’s six-year career he didn’t start a game for a reason other than an injury.

Rivera’s plan presumably was to bench Newton for the first series.

When Rivera has benched starters for breaking team rules in the past – defensive ends Kony Ealy and Greg Hardy, for instance – they were held out for all or part of a series.

Reached at halftime, Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman declined to comment.

On the NBC broadcast, Al Michaels reported that the benching was for a minor violation of team rules.

Michelle Tafoya, just after halftime, reported that Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Newton’s suspension was for a dress code violation.

Derek Anderson started in place of Newton. On the first play of the game, Anderson was intercepted by linebacker Mike Morgan on a pass that was bounced off the hands of fullback Mike Tolbert.

The Seahawks took over at the Panthers’ 8 and kicked a field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

Newton was back in the game for the Panthers’ next offensive series.

The Panthers spent the week after last week’s loss at Oakland in northern California.

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