Cam Newton missed all but two games of the Carolina Panthers’ 2019 season with a pesky Lisfranc injury that wouldn’t heal, but it looks like there will be football activities in his near future.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Newton will resume some kind of football activities in March. The Panthers quarterback had surgery to repair his injured foot in December, which came after he spent almost the entire season trying to rehab his foot and avoid the surgery.
Newton’s recovery is vital for Carolina’s future, but not in the way it once was. Rapoport said on “NFL Total Access” that it’s now more likely that Newton is traded since the Panthers are apparently heading toward a larger rebuild than initially expected. If the Panthers decide to trade Newton, they’d have their choice of several suitors who need quarterbacks. The Los Angeles Chargers have decided to move on from Philip Rivers, and teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts could be looking to upgrade.
But Newton can only be traded if he’s healthy. With the NFL free-agent market opening on March 18 and the draft taking place in late April, Newton’s recovery is hugely important because the Panthers need to start making plans. Even though Newton will presumably be starting football activities in March, does that leave them enough time to make those plans? What kind of fitness will Newton have to demonstrate to draw the interest — and confidence — of other teams?
While it’s starting to feel like Newton is going to be traded, team officials haven’t said that. The most they’ve done is refuse to answer questions about his future with the team — but that feels like an answer in itself.
More from Yahoo Sports: