Carolina Panthers star quarterback Cam Newton needed surgery on his ankle early in the offseason to repair a nagging issue, and while it took him some time to get fully comfortable with everything, he had no hitches in his recovery. In fact, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera stated that the injury has allowed Newton to make more strides as a passer, because he had to focus more on his mechanics while he was recovering. Newton suffered another injury this offseason, as he was listed day-to-day after suffering a hairline fracture, though he did not practice last week and was once considered a toss-up for the critical Week 1 opener against the rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
According to ESPN NFL Nation’s David Newton, the signal-caller threw today for the first time since suffering the rib injury against the New England Patriots, and he was a full participant in practice. Newton “showed no limitation” when throwing, and he also ran on the field in between drills. This is great, re-assuring news for Newton, who is regarded by the Panthers as a Week 1 lock. That “lock” status hasn’t changed.
Newton looks poised for a better season after becoming more familiar with the game and ironing out some kinds last season, as he was consistent in a vanilla offense that emphasized spreading the ball around. This year, Newton will probably throw a higher volume of targets to top weapons Kelvin Benjamin and star TE Greg Olsen, but he also has two very safe veteran outlets in Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant.