Now, officially, the Carolina Panthers’ offseason of concern for Cam Newton begins.
Newton has arthroscopic surgery on his injured right throwing shoulder, the team announced on Thursday. The Panthers said the surgery was “successfully performed” by team physician Dr. Pat Connor. The team announced no timetable for his return.
Newton missed the final two games after his ailing shoulder became an issue. While the surgery didn’t sound like a worst-case scenario, anytime a quarterback has his throwing shoulder repaired, there will be some worry until he’s back on the field. The good news is the team expects Newton to be throwing by OTAs in May, The MMQB’s Albert Breer reported.
Everyone will breathe easier when that actually happens.
Cam Newton’s surgery not considered serious
Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer reminded everyone that Newton had surgery to fix a partially-torn rotator cuff in March of 2017, and the fact that this was an arthroscopic surgery might mean a major repair wasn’t needed this time. That seems to be good news.
Newton was struggling badly with the shoulder late in the season. In his last game, against the New Orleans Saints, he clearly was laboring to throw the ball. The Panthers shut him down even though they weren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
Newton’s history of shoulder injuries, and how he looked late last season, is concerning. Hopefully by May he’s good as new.
Newton should bounce back
Of course, part of the reason for skepticism is Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck had a much more serious surgery two years ago, to repair his labrum. But the Colts were endlessly optimistic about Luck’s return in 2017 and then he missed a whole season. Not that Newton seems to be in any danger of that, but a shoulder surgery to a star quarterback brings back some Luck flashbacks.
Newton is just 29 years old, turning 30 in May, so he still has many prime years left. He’s also at an age in which he should rebound from surgery. Yet, because of his ability as a runner, he has taken a lot of punishment.
The expectation is Newton will be back and healthy by next opening day. And that will be good news for the Panthers, who need their franchise quarterback if they want to make it back to the playoffs.
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