The Carolina Panthers’ announcement Tuesday that Cam Newton is out for the remainder of the season with a foot injury could be just that—a notable but ultimately banal transaction that simply leads to Newton’s reemergence under center in that offense a year from now.

Newton, 30, suffered a Lisfranc injury during the preseason and aggravated it further during Carolina’s Week 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team announced on Tuesday that Newton is still experiencing pain and that it will take “significant time” for the foot to heal.

“For the past seven weeks, Cam has diligently followed a program of rest and rehab and still is experiencing pain in his foot,” Carolina general manager Marty Hurney said. “He saw two-foot specialists last week who agreed that he should continue that path prescribed by the team’s medical staff and that it likely will take significant time for the injury to fully heal.

“We have said all along that it is impossible to put a timetable on this injury. Nobody is more frustrated with that fact than Cam. He’s one of the fiercest competitors I’ve been around during my 20-plus years in the league. At this time, we have decided that the best decision to reach the goal of bringing the foot back to 100 percent is to place Cam on injured reserve.”

Coupled with MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey, current QB Kyle Allen, who is 5-1 as Carolina’s starter, could be good enough to keep the Panthers competitive in the NFC playoff race. However, Allen’s success and Newton’s health status also bring questions about the franchise’s long-term strategy to the forefront.

If the organization believes in Allen, then an injury-prone Newton could have seen his Carolina career being over.