A six game losing streak after a 6-2 start to the season ended any hopes of making the playoffs for the Carolina Panthers.  With Cam Newton nursing an injured shoulder, the Panthers announced on Wednesday that backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke will start Sunday’s game against the Falcons.

It’s a move at 6-8, should probably be made even if they had any shot at the playoffs.  Newton’s performance during Monday night’s loss to the Saints showed just how bad the injury to his shoulder is. 

This gives Newton a chance at getting healthier a little bit sooner than everyone else.  It also gives the Panthers a look at Heinicke should Newton’s shoulder injury take as much time to recover from as Andrew Luck’s did.

Panthers fans are hoping Newton doesn’t end up missing an entire season.